Many companies fear their more successful rivals-those competitors that exceed them in profitability, product design, and market share. However, the competitors to fear are not the ones who try and succeed….but rather those that try and fail-and then dust themselves off and try again. Those are the competitors who will, over the long term, excel in their craft and with their clients. NEWS FLASH: When it comes to protecting your establishment, failure is not an option!
Let’s keep it real with ourselves here. Trying and failing can be scary. In some situations and organizations it can even be career threatening; BUT- if managed well…failing can actually lead you to greater success down the road. The key here, is to manage failure….STRATEGICALLY.
- Keep losses small- Testing. Testing is a part of any endeavor. Testing in small ways let you learn at a rate the organization can afford. By picking a specific geography, group of customers, or a small set of locations, it can give you an opportunity to learn-without losing everything. Picking a spot that you can monitor closely, and be involved in, can help you maximize your learning. A series of small tests can let you steadily improve a concept and make improvements as you go.
- Acknowledge the possibility of failure- Expectations can help a team of people support an effort that may not succeed. Do this by building an understanding of the importance of the test itself- how can it yield important information that could possibly build a more successful product or service.
- Celebrate the win in the loss- This is failing forward. If your test leads to another test…CLAIM VICTORY!!
Manage risk well so that you can tackle bigger risks over time. Successful leaders look to shoulder, and manage, more and more risk. Not unwisely taking risk; rather, in the spirit of creating opportunity, building profits, and growing a business. Remember: Leaders who can manage risk with success are invaluable to the companies they work for.