Friday, August 07, 2009

Learning from Success and Failure (a follow up)

I am tired of reading statements like "We learn best from failure" and "We learn best from success." No. We learn best when we pay attention to what happened, how it happened and why? Whether it was a success or a failure doesn't make a difference in terms of our capacity to learn from an event.

A caveat or two:

  • The organizational culture and existing processes within an organization may make it easier or harder to systematically learn from either success or failure.

  • There may be a natural propensity to learn from failure (simply because it hurts and we don't want to do it again). Even if that can be demonstrated, it certainly doesn't mean that we can't learn from success. If we choose to learn from success and we put the right processes in place, there's no reason we can't do it.
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