We’ve been sold a lie. The lie is that organizations (or children) can and should be perfect.
In organizations, this need for perfection induces people to run from anything labeled failure.
In children, it induces them to run from any new learning that they may not get right on the first try.
So few of our attempts in life work out on the first try. If we know that is true, but we still buy into the perfection myth, then we just won’t try. Our organization will fall into a status quo and our children will lock themselves down at one achievement level and climb no higher. We can’t seem to see that as we run farther away from failure we are actually getting closer to it with every step.
Over the years, some kids movies have fought against the perfection myth. Below are two examples of this fight.
If you haven’t seen Meet the Robinsons, enjoy this little clip where failure is celebrated as a virtuous, necessary step, providing you “keep moving forward.”
In this song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, we’re reminded that failure produces some of our best learning, if only we’ll admit it as a failure and learn from it.
In organizations, you can create an ability to learn from failure by modeling your own ability to learn from it.
In your team meetings, celebrate your failures along with your wins and highlight what you’ve learned from your failures.
Create safe ways for your teammates to fail and learn. Safe failures have consequences you and your teammates can recover from.
There is no perfection in people or in organizations and without admitted failure there is no learning, so let’s embrace our own failures, learn, and be better tomorrow.
Let’s grow our own well-earned roses of success.
Why not try?