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That’s right.  Let them fail.

Why let them fail?  If you let them fail, then you gave them what’s equally important –  an opportunity to succeed,  innovate and contribute in a meaningful way.

And they will succeed.  Though often after they fail, after they learn, after they see you support their efforts.

You may wince a bit. You may even look through the slat in your fingers as you cover your eyes.  It’s not always pretty.  And at times it can be down right ugly.  But it’s absolutely critical to employee happiness – especially happiness of those who are innovators.  That engaged brilliant talent that we all so desperately want to harness.  Those who can see how your company can be better are going to want a chance to implement what they envision.  And you have to give them the room to try.

To create the room, do the following three:

1)       Give them the critical “do not cross” boundaries (try to keep it to 3)

2)      Timeline

3)      Co-create clear expectations – an idea of the ideal outcome of the project

You will be amazed at what they come up with – both in how they fail and in what they learn and how those learnings lead to new innovations and success within your company.

Avinger, a fast growing successful company out of the bay area got this one right – one of their 5 briefly worded core values is “Fail Fast.”  Fail.  Learn.  Apply new knowledge.  Repeat.

As Samuel Beckett said, “Go on failing. Go on. Only next time, try to fail better.”

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1.3 min readLast Updated: April 6th, 2021Published On: November 14th, 2011Categories: Employee Performance Improvement, Organizational Development ProcessTags:

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