Why you should encourage failure in your teams

by | Apr 18, 2019

team meeting at work

Failure is all a matter of perspective, it’s like the old adage about the inventor of the light bulb Thomas Edison, who succeeded in finding 10,000 methods that wouldn’t work.

Some of the best inventions in history were discovered by mistake. Penicillin, the microwave oven, post-its and pacemakers were all invented by accident.

You could say Lieutenant Colonel Pemberton failed at finding an opium free painkiller, or you could say he succeeded at finding a recipe for Coca Cola, one of the world’s best-selling soft drinks.

It all just depends how you look at it.

Foster experimentation

Now, what all of these inventions have in common is that the people behind them were experimenting and trying to find new solutions to problems.

In order to find the solution to any problem, you need to be able to play around with different methods, possibilities and alternatives.

It’s important to be able to be creative and play about with different possibilities, some of which, naturally, won’t be viable or appropriate.

But the important thing is that creativity can be totally unleashed and for this, it’s vital that there is no fear or shame attached to failure.

Incite innovation

If you’ve been working on team building, your teams should be feeling like they relate well to each other.

This atmosphere of mutual understanding, which you create through strengthening the relationships between members of your team, means that they’ll feel less embarrassed if an idea they put forward doesn’t fly.

And the more ideas that are put forward, the more likely it is that an innovative solution will be reached.

Merit in mistakes

However, if you truly want to open up all the creative possibilities of your team and truly encourage failure, you will have to lead by example.

The leaders in your organization need to get fully on board with trying new solutions, and offering up new ideas, as well as being welcoming of others doing the same thing.

If leaders are making, and encouraging mistakes it can give their teams the confidence to try new things without beating themselves up if they don’t work out.

The best organisations are constantly trying new ideas which helps to drive innovation and often, as an added bonus, leads to happier, more creatively fulfilled employees.

Connectivity can help your organisation create the kind of teams who celebrate and foster creativity, just get in touch to find out more.