Why Failure is Vital (and FUN)

It doesn't take long for a large corporation to train new employees.

Even before the first interview, a competent candidate already knows how to dress like they belong. By day two of the job they know when to arrive, how lunch hour works and what is an acceptable amount of personal time to take during the day. Training happens fast, whether it is purposeful or not. And, in most organizations the cardinal sin is soon revealed – DO NOT FAIL. Your boss, your team, the brand, we’re all depending on you.

This is the single most limiting belief in corporations.

It keeps great ideas on the shelf and home-runs in the dugout (ugh, baseball analogy, so 1980s business, but we’ll get to that later). What if you created a culture where failure was celebrated? Where men and women can take their audacious ideas out for a spin and know you have their back? What if bumping up against your limits as an organization was the norm?

Here’s the value of failing: it defines your limits.

And, as any good artist knows, limits produce powerful, culture-defining work. You see, if you give employees permission and safety to fail, they will bring the best and brightest ideas to test. In the testing, you will find innovation you never knew possible.

So, take the first step, start asking, “when was the last time you failed?” See people light up with delight as a wave of permission washes over the team.