Organizations whose cultures forbid failure are organizations that will become stagnant, lacking the resourcefulness and innovation necessary to succeed.
When failure isn’t an option, there’s no incentive to take even the smallest risk in trying something new. If an employee knows he’ll be punished for failing, he’ll be careful to stay well within the boundaries of accepted practice. And then it’s not just failure that isn’t an option; it’s any kind of change or improvement.
Obviously you don’t want to encourage wildly impractical risk-taking or invite catastrophic failure. So how can you encourage employees to take sensible risks, learn from their mistakes, and – as the saying goes – “fail forward” into success? (more…)