Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tell Your Boss Not to be Afraid of Failure

Success today often depends on being innovative and testing boundaries, but with that comes the risk of failure. While failure can certainly be an important part of the learning process, it also can bog down projects or processes.
But what if there was a roadmap that used best practices and research to show how to embrace failure better and faster? Would that be a key to competitive advantage?
A new book, “Fail Better,” by Anjali Sastry and Kara Penn aims to show organizations and leaders how to create the conditions, culture and habits to “systemically, ruthlessly, and quickly figure out what works.”
Penn says that the “fail better method” is “is the first repeatable approach that helps managers, team leaders, anyone really—design work to allow for the greatest level of experimentation, risk and learning.”
That is done, she explains, by focusing on three areas:
  1. Launch. The book points out that you don’t want to over plan and set things in stone at this stage. A project should be considered in context, while anticipating outcomes as tied to a series of logical assumptions. This is the time to pull together resources and look at the skills and capabilities each person on a team can bring to the table.
  2. Build and refine. As the project starts to move forward, don’t think of it as a huge beast headed toward a desired outcome. Instead, chunk the work “in such a way that actions elicit critical information that can inform next steps, and that allows for uncovering flaws in thinking and action early on in the process,” Penn says. “When actions are chunked for iteration, teams can build in more calculated risks – allowing for (read more here)

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