Tag: failure

  • Gruesome


    They say that execution eats strategy for breakfast. But emotional intelligence devours execution while it sleeps. Ew. But hmm.

  • The Greatest Source of Failure

    The Greatest Source of Failure

    The greatest source of failure is not a lack of talent, capital, or ideas. And it’s not politics or the lack of opportunities. The source is the bad-feeling, low-buzz, and usually habitual thoughts we have about the world and ourselves in the world. To succeed more, we need first to catch ourselves feeling bad. This […]

  • Complex Brew

    Complex Brew

    Our businesses are complex brews of people, product, and process. Yet there are only four points of failure, ultimately, in any venture. They are 1) the lack of a clear, compelling, and commonly-comprehended goal, 2) the lack of a clear win for any and all involved, 3) poor systems for getting the right stuff done…

  • Are We Allowed to Fail?

    Are We Allowed to Fail?

    We have heard that the dramatically successful organizations embrace rather than fear failure. They see failure as really quite a good thing. And so failing early, often, and forward has become part of the accepted wisdom of work. But what if we aren’t allowed to fail? What if failure brings embarrassment, loss of stature, or…

  • A Map to Better Business

    A Map to Better Business

    Pretend we’ve landed in a new city and we want to get from our hotel, through the city, and to a great restaurant we’ve heard about. We would have three choices. We could use a map (paper or electronic), we could ask for help (from, say, a cabbie or concierge), or we could just start…

  • Diagnosing Business Trouble with Four Simple Questions

    Diagnosing Business Trouble with Four Simple Questions

    We can diagnose whatever ails any organization by asking four questions. To what extent does everyone (in or close to the organization) know and understand the same complete and compelling story about why the organization exists and what its goals are? How committed are people (in or close to the organization) to the rule, “I win…

  • How to See Failure

    How to See Failure

    We can see failure in two ways: as something we work (damn) hard to avoid or as no big deal. When it’s the former, we believe that any failure is personal. We see it as a judgment and as an omen of more bad things to come. We become tied tightly and the quality of…

  • Fail Your Way to Success

    Fail Your Way to Success

    Embracing failure is an oddly effective way to ultimately succeed. This does not mean just hoping everything goes well, winging it, ignoring it, or just bracing for impact. Embracing failure means adopting a system where we can test our assumptions (and we blindly make huge assumptions at work all the time) in a series of small, non-bet-the-farm experiments.…

  • Embrace Failure to Win

    Embrace Failure to Win

    Baked deeply into each of us is the habit of avoiding failure at any cost. But we fight failure to our detriment. Failure is valuable. Committing to something important is only possible because there is a chance of failure…it wouldn’t be important otherwise. Failure on the path to creating that something important is the only…

  • Seeing Improvement

    Seeing Improvement

    There are two ways to visualize continuous improvement. One way is as a steady march. The other is a spiral. Which visualization represents the better way? The steady march (“We will get 1 percent better every day.”) seems more appealing: we can get there by setting course and making steady effort. The spiral looks less…