Failure IS an Option!

By:          Joel Friedman

Yes, I said it. Failure is indeed an option.  How many times in your career have you heard your leader or someone in your organization make the statement “Failure is not an option!”?  I strongly disagree with this statement and believe that we need to remove it from our arsenal of business speak unless we are dealing with life and death situations.  It needs to be replaced with “Complacency is not an option!”

Creating a business environment where failure is not tolerated leads to passive and stale organizations that lack vision and creativity.  These organizations are content with maintaining status quo rather than moving the needle in a positive direction.  If we create an organization where failure is not tolerated and the failures are treated with shame, ridicule, and humiliation, we will never truly reach our potential.

True innovation can only come from questioning status quo, searching for solutions to complex problems, shifting paradigms, creativity and yes, sometimes failing in our attempts. We must create an organization where people want to succeed, but at the same time are not afraid of failing.  People in our organization should be more afraid of not trying.

When you or someone in your organizations fails, you must view this as a teachable moment.  Analyze what the intentions were, what steps were taken to succeed, what could have been done to prevent the failure, reassess the environment and develop a go forward strategy for success.  You don’t stop trying!

As Wayne Gretsky said “You Miss 100% of the Shots that You Don’t Take!”  So go call your shotl

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