Well-known entrepreneurs claim that “failure is not an option” for them. They breed success and do not accept failure. “Failure” is not a word that is part of their business dictionary.  We advise them to seriously consider buying another dictionary, one that is VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) -proof.


Failure is an option, indeed

When your world is changing towards new and unprecedented situations, you will have to take into consideration failure. There is nothing wrong with failure, at least, if you are prepared for it. Failure as an option means taking into account that not everything will always work. sometimes we learn a lot from things that do not work. Kids grow up learning how to live and how not to. The latter is at least as important for their development as the first. Once you have experienced failure, you are enjoying more than twice as much success. Being prepared for failure means 

  1. doing everything to prevent yourself from failure
  2. having a plan upfront in case you encounter unexpected situations and factors
  3. deciding from the start where you are ready to step out of the race, at what price
  4. not focusing on one option or solution; because failure should not be complete, but can also be partial; which means that there is also a partial success then
  5. stop claiming that you cannot fail. If you challenge Murphy, he will take up the challenge….successfully

Beware of those board members who set up all to big a show and mobilise the organisation in view of their own success. The  so-called “cost of fallacy” makes organisations enter a point of no return by emhasizing success that much that failure will never ever be considered. It may cost a lotand may be life-threatening for the future of the company. 



Follow the wise men

Thomas Edison is being considered of the ultimate innovator. What many people do not know about  Edison is that a large number of his experiments did not succeed. We tend to only think about his memorable innovations, but the other ones also happened. Thomas Edison is said to have failed 1000 times before successfully inventing the prototype of the light bulb. When a reporter asked Edison how it felt to fail 1,000 times, Edison replied: “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention of 1,000 steps.” I wish youthe same resilience in your search for a new breakthrough in your business. Careful study and preparation can bring you on your way; but failure should be seen as a learning step towards future success. Besides, how often did you FALL on theground before you could walk eventually? Or how often before you could ride that bike? Childhood is an interesting spot to look for brilliant change ideas. 


Do you face challenges in your organisational change? An outsider view can help you escape from your bubble and see things differently. Call us… we’re here to help you deal with both success and failure.