th images menu user export search eye clock list list2 arrow-left untitled twitter facebook googleplus instagram cross photos entrep-logo-svg

3 ways to make your next failure a learning opportunity

Here are three key components of a fail-fast-and-recover philosophy.
By Bruce Cazenave |

 

Fail fast—and recover quickly. That oft-cited catchphrase is behind some of the greatest learning experiences I’ve had in both my business and personal life.

 

Although failure can be a disconcerting topic for many, a “fail fast and recover quickly” philosophy equates success to the lessons learned, the ideas tried and tested and the confidence gained through the entire process.

 

The primary principle of this philosophy is simple: Know when to let something go. As Integrate CEO Jeremy Bloom has pointed out, studying your failures is an important skill to master in order to reach your full potential and to help your employees do the same.

 

The setbacks you experience as a professional, as a team and as a company can come in many forms. From my time as an executive at Black & Decker, to my current role with Nautilus, Inc., activating the fail-fast-and-recover strategy has been pivotal for me and produced transformational results. 

 

Here are three key components of a fail-fast-and-recover philosophy—for both your employees and yourself—that will help you build a successful foundation and vibrant culture within your company:

 

 

1. Know when to move on.

This phrase describes the ability to let something go before you’ve invested an overabundance of time, energy and resources. The key is to reflect on how you can push yourself and team members to maintain a continued focus on what the company or organization can do better.

 

Five years ago, when I was new to my role as CEO at Nautilus, the company was in a fragile place: Its stock price had plummeted and company managers were risk-averse about investing resources and capital for new products.

 

Because of this, our product development team members believed their hands were tied, so they focused solely on “bases-loaded, homerun” products that were sure to deliver a significant return on investment.

 

This was the first place where we implemented the fail-fast-and-recover philosophy: We opened the risk filter wide and focused on a rigorous process that put innovation at the center of our work. It was a time to test and change, yielding the occasional “single or double” hit, while bringing employee work to the next level.

 

“Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.”– Marv Levy

 

 

2. Equate success to the lessons learned. 

One of the biggest challenges individuals face is to take a step back from failure and see the bigger picture. For example, we make it a point to host casual gatherings where our employees are encouraged to share input on everything from our latest products to workplace issues.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

 

This is an opportunity to discuss what is and isn't working, and what lessons we can glean as individuals, as teams and as a company. As we begin to think about failure being a learning opportunity, rather than a negative, it becomes easier to find the education component within nearly any situation.

 

Of course, learning as a team also means growing as a team—and in the long run, as a company. I firmly believe in an open-door policy and plenty of company-wide events. Our company's annual employee kickball league, holiday giving events and chili cook-offs help bring employees and team leaders even closer together.

 

Whether your team is at work or at play, the environment should be one of openness and engagement. A culture of open communication helps support a team’s ability to innovate and move on from failures with grace.

 


Latest Articles

Google Offers Tools and Programs to Help PH Businesses Thrive Online

They offer free online tools and applications to help entrepreneurs

byNicai de Guzman | February 26, 2018 09:00:00

3 Ways to Make Memorable Small Talk That Gets People Interested In Working With You

The easiest way to be intriguing is listen closely after you've asked someone to tell you about...

byTor Constantino | February 26, 2018 08:00:00

How Much Money Do You Have to Make to Be Satisfied and Happy?

It's only a fraction of the millions you dream about

byLydia Belanger | February 26, 2018 06:00:00

8 Strategies to Become More Influential at Work

Wherever you are in the corporate structure, influencing skills are vital for anyone to be...

byConnie Wedel | February 26, 2018 02:00:00

Ryan Reynolds Just Bought a Gin Company He Called 'the Best on the Planet'

The company said Reynolds will 'play an active leadership role in the business and creative...

byAlison Millington | February 26, 2018 00:00:00

Did the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution Make the Rich Richer?

Property boom boosts fortunes of the extremely wealthy even as widespread poverty persisted

byPauline Macaraeg | February 25, 2018 09:00:00

Ask the Relationship Expert: I Can't Stop Acting Like the Boss With My Partner

Sometimes you have to take off your 'boss' hat

byMarla N. Mattenson | February 25, 2018 08:00:00

10 Weird Habits That Can Actually Be Good for You

From cursing to fidgeting to eating chocolate, these so-called 'bad habits' can actually benefit you

byRose Leadem | February 25, 2018 06:00:00

7 Real-Life Business Lessons You Can Learn From Billionaires

The only variable you really control is how hard you work

byDeep Patel | February 25, 2018 02:00:00

Here's Why This Company Encourages Employees to Decorate Other People's Cubicles

It bridges the gap between work and personal life, making employees feel more connected.

byLydia Belanger | February 25, 2018 00:00:00

Try This New App To Help You Invest for Your Children’s Education

Manulife’s GradMaker app makes it easier and more accessible to invest your hard-earned money

byLorenzo Kyle Subido | February 24, 2018 09:00:00

How to Deal With the Criticism, "You need to be more likeable..."

Three ways to negotiate sexism in today's workplace

byCandace Sjogren | February 24, 2018 08:00:00