Monday, April 18, 2011


Strategies for Learning from Failure
April, 2011

This edition HBR is dedicated to “failure”. Understanding how to fail is critical for success and the underpinning of a company being ambidextrous (see our blog site for summary of postings in this category)

"The wisdom of learning from failure is incontrovertible. Yet organizations that do it well are extraordinarily rare….Most executives I’ve talked to believe that failure is bad (of course!). They also believe that learning from it is pretty straightforward: 
These widely held beliefs are misguided. First, failure is not always bad. In organizational life it is sometimes bad, sometimes inevitable, and sometimes even good. Second, learning from organizational failures is anything but straightforward…..
….Failure and fault are virtually inseparable in most households, organizations, and cultures. Every child learns at some point that admitting failure means taking the blame. That is why so few organizations have shifted to a culture of psychological safety in which the rewards of learning from failure can be fully realized……
…..A sophisticated understanding of failure’s causes and contexts will help to avoid the blame game and institute an effective strategy for learning from failure" 

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