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Friday, March 11, 2016

Lean Quote: Fear of Failure Should Not Limit Us

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Fear is a bad guardian for a thing that ought to last.— Cicero 

It is natural to have a fear of failure. By human nature, most people prefer to avoid risks, especially in the workplace. However, a fear to fail in the office can stunt employees’ growth and inhibit the company from exploring creative, new ideas and strategies.

Nobody likes to make mistakes. However, the simple reality of life is that at some point, all of us are going to be wrong. That’s just life. Failure is an expected part of the process of finding solutions. If workers feel that they have to “hit one out of the park” every time they come up with an improvement idea, they will be reluctant to provide their ideas.

We are going to make mistakes. A colleague of mine always says, “Learn to fail quickly.” Essentially, if you are going to fail you need to learn to do it quickly in order to get the data (results) that you can use to gradually improve. The faster you get at learning from unforeseen circumstances and outcomes, the faster you can find a solution that truly adds value.

Create opportunities where employees can experiment with new ideas that doesn’t expose the company to any risk, but allows them to learn from their failures and success. This will allow the team to feel comfortable thinking outside of the box.

Fear of failure is one of the greatest fears people have. It is a genuinely scary thing for many people, and often the reason that individuals do not attempt the things they would like to accomplish. But the only true failure is failure to make the attempt. If you don't try, you gain nothing, and life is too short a thing to waste.

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1 comment:

  1. Lean doesn't fail, companies do. If the company's culture or behavior doesn't change, Lean implementations will fail. Why? Lean is a new way of doing business.