Office Culture: Making it Okay to Fail
It holds a different meaning for each of us, but in life and in business, we are all striving for one thing – success. No one takes on a new challenge hoping, deep down, they will fail. And yet, the very act of taking a risk and stepping out of one’s comfort zone means opening the possibility for failure. Our society champions success to an almost dizzying degree – we are told to strive for it, we teach our kids to believe in it, and we reap a multiplicity of rewards each time we achieve it. However, in this quest for success, we often try to ignore the ugly possible flip side of our endeavours – failure. Our fear of failure can be so deep-seated that we end up in a state of paralysis, unwilling to take risks or try anything new; which may be the most dangerous outcome of all.
At Connect&GO, we believe that failure is simply a part of trying. We make a point of changing our perspective on things and looking for new ways to innovate our approach because we know we will never reach perfection. There is always a new way to do something, and if we can improve the products and services we offer, we’ll do it – even if that means getting it wrong some of the time. This shift in attitude is becoming increasingly popular as many business owners realize that remaining stagnant can be fatal. “…in today’s post-recession economy, some employers are no longer shying away from failure—they’re embracing it.”¹ If you don’t take a chance and change the way you are doing things, someone else will beat you to it and will leave you behind in their dust.
Getting it wrong is scary, discouraging and can sometimes seem like a massive waste of time; but we are making a conscious effort to see each failure as a potential for growth, which makes it an ultimately positive experience. The only way you can truly learn to do something right, is by doing it wrong a number of times first. Part of our “WHY” as a company is to create unbelievable experiences for our clients and their guests; that motivation keeps us striving to constantly re-think how we can make that happen. We are proud of the technology we’ve developed, but we know it can be improved upon and we are always looking for ways to make those adjustments. We’re thrilled with the number of clients we already have, but we know we could branch out even further and we’re constantly trying to find the best ways to expand our brand.
Allowing yourself the freedom to fail opens the door to creative thinking and fresh perspectives. As more and more people come to accept failure for what it is – a step towards eventual success – we may be able to flip the script and give ourselves a break while we continue to work towards our goals. That’s the idea behind ‘Fail Camp’, a Montreal-based conference founded by Francis Gosselin, President & Co-founder of consulting firm fg8, and Robert Boulos, President of FarWeb.tv. Inviting speakers from a variety of sectors to share their stories of failure, Gosslein and Boulos wanted to open the discourse on failure and what it means to take risks.
The concept of embracing failure is reaching far and wide across the globe right now. Business Insider recently covered the opening of a ‘Museum of Failure’ in Helsingborg, Sweden. Collector Sam West is behind the exhibition of major corporation flops, including names like Betamax, Blockbuster and Coke Blak. “Even the biggest, baddest, most competent companies fail,” says West. “The trick is to create an organizational culture that accepts failure so that you can fail small … rather than failing big.”²
Accepting failure allows you to continue to try to new things, and to learn from your mistakes when they don’t work out. As far as we can tell, that’s the only way to grow; so we’ll take the good with the bad as we strive to get bigger and better with each challenge we take on. Btw, this is the fourth draft of this last paragraph…yet another example of not getting it right the first time! 😉
 Pauline Estrem “Why Failure is Good for Success” success.com (August 25, 2016) http://www.success.com/article/why-failure-is-good-for-success  Chris Weller “13 of the biggest product flops featured in Sweden’s new ‘Museum of Failure’”. Business Insider (April 2017) http://www.businessinsider.com/products-that-flopped-in-sweden-museum-of-failure-2017-4/#west-says-its-been-difficult-trying-to-secure-the-items-in-his-collection-given-theyre-all-discontinued-the-project-is-a-labor-of-love-1
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