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Dare to fail

“Dare to fail and do it quickly!”

Many years ago, I was sitting in the audience at a conference center in the US listening to a speaker. He said something that I took to heart. It was probably because it is so consistent with what I have been talking about for a long time. He said “You have to fail often, early and ugly to succeed”.

I see over and over again how we have been brought up not to make mistakes, because it is seen as a big defeat. And what will others think and say about me if I fail? This is why we are playing it safe;

  • Let’s put it aside instead of taking a chance.
  • We choose to work a little more to make it perfect.
  • We let someone else take over and be the one exposed, and then take the hit if it doesn’t work.

Paradoxically, this fear of failure means that we do not succeed either. Because if we put it aside, it becomes nothing at all. If we keep on working towards perfection, we will never make progress either. And if we let someone else take over and it succeeds, we will always be in the shadow of those who dared.

Failures in the improvement process

When it comes to implementing improvements in our businesses, we must have the courage to let go of the new process and let it meet reality. Only then will we know what works and what does not. We can ‘dry run’ as much as we want, but we will still not understand all the different things that can happen along the way and make the process not work as intended.

The only way is to do a good job for a short time and then have the courage to get out and start driving. Then, little by little, we improve the process to make them better. The vast majority of businesses do not go under just because a small part fails.

And if everyone, including customers, is aware that it’s the first version, they will buy a few small errors here and there. Customers are probably overjoyed not to have to do it the way it was done before.

Dare to fail even in your business

You need a “fail-is-okay” culture in your business to develop.

In physics, all motion requires heat, with atoms moving around in their orbits. If it is cold instead, its movement stops and everything is slow. You have probably experienced this on a really cold winter day, when your car is so slow to drive. It probably just wanted to stand still and wait for warmer weather.

This must not happen in your business if you want to succeed in your improvement efforts.

1. Work quickly
2. Release the results
3. learn from reality
4. improve!

Again and again, and all the time.

With that, I wish you a week filled with rapid development and many lessons learned from your failures.