Redefining Failure

Source: Harvard Business Review
by: Seth Godin

“We think we know what failure looks like. Products don’t get purchased. Reorganizations make things worse. Shipments aren’t delivered. Speeches don’t get applauded. Things explode. These are the emergencies and disasters that we have nightmares about.

We think that failure is the opposite of success, and we optimize our organizations to avoid it. We install layers and layers of management to eliminate risk and prevent catastrophes. One surefire way we’ve found to avoid failing is to narrowly define what failure is—in other words, to treat almost everything that happens as a nonfailure. If the outcome of our efforts isn’t a failure, there’s no need to panic, is there? Failure creates urgency. Failure gets you fired. Failure cannot stand; it demands a response. But the status quo is simply embraced and, incredibly, protected.” Read more>