The Joy of Failing

03/14/2019

This past week I’ve been pushing myself to new levels of failure. I’m not talking polite “excuse me” failures I’m talking about down right UGH that didn’t work. 

In some cases they were public failures  - messing up the cooking of a meal - making mistakes on Newsletter 21 Key Imagesome math - not saying the right things at the right time. In other cases they were private mistakes that I came to realize privately.

Years ago these types of failures would have infected my mind. I would have played the “could of, should of” game of mental torture with myself. I would have relived my failures over and over again. I would have spent most of the weekend dealing with my past week rather then living in the current moment.

Today - I make it a point to view failure in the framework of the Deming Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle of learning. I simply Study what I learned and take action. I don’t dwell on it - but rather see the failure as simply a cycle of learning.

When I see failure as learning I enjoy the failure. Often it ignites within me an energy to do another test cycle as fast as I can. Note - when I’m talking a learning cycle I’m talking about situations where I am failing in situations where I have systems in place that allow me to fail FAST and CHEAP. What I’m not talking about is epic, major failures with high cost. In my life I go to great lengths to avoid those kind of situations. I’ve learned that every HIGH COST risk can be broken down into a series of Fast & Cheap experiments that can drive down the overall risk.

I’ve gotten very good at letting go of failures. What I need to work on is doing the same Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle when things to right. When things work I need to stop and THINK harder about why they worked, what was the key to the success.

When I look at failure as a cycle of learning I generate joy from the failure instead of fear. Frankly, it’s the secret to my work over the past 40 years inventing ideas during Eureka! Inventing sessions for clients. I love creating bad ideas - as fast as possible. I know that the faster I create bad ideas the sooner I’m going to discover an amazing transformational WOW Idea.

 


 

ThinkStormerLogoThe secret to finding JOY in failure is systems and software that support failing fast and cheap with plan, do, study, act cycles of learning.  That is why we created ThinkStormer, a personal workspace for thinking bigger, bolder, faster, and smarter with less risk.

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Doug Hall

The Driving Eureka! Newsletter is a compilation of case studies, new techniques, thought provoking insights, an occasional rant, and excerpts from my books 

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