Older Workers and Unconscious Bias...
Lessons for HR: A PhD on Netflix Revenue and Spending...

If You're Going to Fail, Fail Small, Grasshopper...

My friend, Tim Sackett, has a post/video about Failure Being The New Black.  His hypothesis is that we've all been fed a load of crap when it comes to failure.  His point is that all the new age thinking that failure is good in careers/business is total BS - and we ought to be more focused on success, not failure.

I'm going to cut down the middle on this one.  Is failure OK?  I think it is at times. Fd company

Is big failure OK?  No - because you should have done some homework and seen it coming.

The goal should be designing change in your company in a way that makes failure as small as possible.  To do that, you have to be disciplined in your approach to experimentation.

There are a lot of buzzwords out there that I could use here - Agile, Lean, Scrum, Kanban - just to name a few.  I'm an expert in none of those - but I think we can learn a lot from broad principles pulled from some of these development methodologies.

Let's say you're going to change how recruiting is delivered at your company.  You could put a big project plan together, slides, etc - and go on an approval tour in your company to show how this change is going to rock everyone's world.

You might believe it - but it's 50/50 at best that it's going to work.  If you fail, that's a big failure and not OK - and you're just proving Tim's point.

But if you simply carve out 5 open jobs, create a hypothesis of what you think will happen if you treat those a different way, then conduct an experiment and measure the results before deciding to try and sell the change globally - you're actually using broad Agile/Lean/Scrum/Kanban principles.

It's called Minimum Viable Product - which is designed to test your assumption before you spend a lot of money/time and potentially fail spectacularly.  Let's say there are 10 sub-strategies related to your big recruiting change.  Why not test one of those strategies on 5 jobs and see what happens, then evaluate it in an objective fashion?

Small failure is OK, big failure is not.  It sounds like a cliche, but failing fast - and cheap - is the way to go.  It's also the way to prove ideas for big change as part of a bigger plan.

If you fail spectacularly, you probably suck.  You should have broken it up and experienced the lighter pain waaaaaay earlier.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)