Kulturallye6resized1

5 practical ways to help your team learn effectively from failure

5 practical ways to help your team learn from failure

It is so important that failures that are learnt from, and yet in the UK workplace, many people do their best to sweep failures firmly under the carpet. This leads to fudging results, rolling out projects that don’t actually have the intended impact and a lack of innovation. It might also lead to unreasonable levels of risk if we look at the banking crisis of 2007 as an example!

 

I believe that in part, this is because our education has trained us to believe there is only one right answer. That the way to get on in life is to avoid making mistakes, when in actual fact erring makes us human and leads to curiosity and massive steps forward in innovation.

Most learning happens on the job when we reflect on both things that go well and things that don’t and apply that learning to future situations. If we want people to learn in our organisations and share that learning with others, then we need to create and environment where people are not attached to their ‘rightness’, where it’s OK to admit mistakes, failure and that we have got it wrong. Only then is the organisation able to progress and to innovate effectively. The benefits of making use of trial and error, prototyping and piloting are enormous.

So, we’re all aware that a blame culture is the enemy of learning from failure and mistakes, but what exactly can you do to create an environment which maximises learning from failure?

  1. Help people feel comfortable about being wrong. Have rounds in team meetings where people share something they were wrong about this week or a mistake they have made that they have learned from and encourage them to explain how they think this could help others. Do balance this with successes and encourage learning from those too!
  2. Encourage a reflective culture in your team. Role model and encourage thinking and reflect on the day, the week, the month, the project and drawing learning from it and sharing that. Give all your team members a reflective learning journal and show them yours.
  3. Build trial and error or piloting into everything you do. People rarely happen upon the best answer the first time. Make it a standard part of the way your team operates that ideas are tested out in small way and the results examined before they are rolled out into a major project.
  4. Put processes into place that surface learning from failure. Within your team, this could be project retrospectives and before and after action learning reviews along with post portems to draw lessons from larger failings. If you can get the whole organization to share your approaches, you might broaden this out to include fast, fun, informal peer-to-peer events with presentations and high audience participation that examine failures and widescale ‘dare to share’* events.
  5. When things do go wrong, congratulate people for having a go and for the intentions behind whatever they did. If it’s not obvious where the error came from, don’t try and find out! Instead focus on what can be learned from the error, what conclusions and guidance for the future can be drawn rather than whose fault it was. Make concrete plans to put the new learning into practice.

To lift your team’s odds of winning, you need to lift the number of mistakes they make and your potential to learn effectively from them.

* Terminology from some of the processes that The World Bank Group have out into place.

 

Shirley Gaston

Shirley is a first-rate organiser of our regional Training Journal meetings. She's a natural facilitator with a warm and genuine style. Her infectious enthusiasm is always focused on ensuring events are packed with learning and fun. Shirley's great to work with.

leaf testimonial
John Addy
HRD Manager at Redcats UK

download - "DIY Team Development Day"

Enter your email address for PDF download

download - "Azesta Teambuild Template"

Enter your email address for PDF download

news - latest from our blog

Shirley’s take on Asda Magic: The 7 Principles of Building a High Performance Culture by David Smith

Shirley’s take on Asda Magic: The 7 Principles of Building a High Performance Culture by David Smith

14 March 2017

Having recently read this book and seen David speak on the topic last week, I...

5 steps to help design a great assessment centre

5 steps to help design a great assessment centre

31 January 2017

With recruitment and selction costing on average £5000 to £50,000 per person, it really...

5 Metalog tools that are great to use in assessment centres...

5 Metalog tools that are great to use in assessment centres...

17 January 2017

I've been lucky enough to be part of the revolution in recruitment; finding people...

How Our Tools Help Our Customer - M R Dynamics

How Our Tools Help Our Customer - M R Dynamics

13 December 2016

M R Dynamics is a UK-based learning and development organisation specialising in team and leadership...

5 of the Best Metalog Tools for Team Development

5 of the Best Metalog Tools for Team Development

22 November 2016

What are the best tools to use on team development day? Team development programmes benefit so...

Leadership in Turbulent Times

Leadership in Turbulent Times

11 November 2016

We're having our fair share of turbulent times at the moment with Brexit and European...

5 situations in which you should get out the Culturallye!

5 situations in which you should get out the Culturallye!

31 October 2016

Culturallye is a brilliant game that begins very simply. On each table, the delegates warm...

A Review of a Great Book for New Managers - 'Courageous Conversations' by Larry Reynolds

A Review of a Great Book for New Managers - 'Courageous Conversations' by Larry Reynolds

11 October 2016

I thought I would finally take the time to review my friend and associate’s...

4 easy steps to engaging your stakeholders

4 easy steps to engaging your stakeholders

19 September 2016

When involved in projects or even thinking about your own career in a complex organisation,...

Developing Virtual and Global Teams

Developing Virtual and Global Teams

09 September 2016

More and more I'm asked to work with teams that do not have frequent opportunity...

Creativity in the Workplace

Creativity in the Workplace

08 March 2016

Why is creativity important in the workplace? Creativity is a mental tool that is valued...

Individuals make the team; teams make the individual

Individuals make the team; teams make the individual

24 February 2016

The 25th of February sees the UK’s official Employee Motivation Day (http://www.employeemotivationday.co.uk/), a day created...

10 ways to better engage learners in your training workshops

10 ways to better engage learners in your training workshops

28 October 2015

Are the people on your training courses delegates or participants? Are they really connecting your...

10 ways of getting kids moving more in the classroom

10 ways of getting kids moving more in the classroom

09 July 2015

So hot off the back of a lot of press coverage on how UK office...

A 6-step process for engaging new starters effectively in an organisation

A 6-step process for engaging new starters effectively in an organisation

23 June 2015

A new starter’s first few days and weeks with an organisation set the tone for...

10 Ways of using the UK’s top selling experiential learning tool ‘The Tower of Power’

10 Ways of using the UK’s top selling experiential learning tool ‘The Tower of Power’

12 June 2015

10 Ways of using the UK’s top selling experiential learning tool ‘The Tower of Power’...

5 practical ways to help your team learn effectively from failure

5 practical ways to help your team learn effectively from failure

26 May 2015

It is so important that failures that are learnt from, and yet in the UK...

My favourite learning tool or 5 great ways to use pipes and balls

My favourite learning tool or 5 great ways to use pipes and balls

20 May 2015

Pipeline is absolutely my favourite and most used experiential exercise because of its versatility and...

5 steps to helping your team give great customer service (or Don’t be like Scottish Power)

5 steps to helping your team give great customer service (or Don’t be like Scottish Power)

16 March 2015

I write quite a few articles and mainly to help and support customers but...

5 great ways of reviewing experiential learning activities

5 great ways of reviewing experiential learning activities

13 March 2015

Careful design of review processes in experiential learning is essential if learning objectives are to...

5 simple steps to a great one-to-one

5 simple steps to a great one-to-one

13 March 2015

If you are a manager, it is so important that you make time for...

5 ways to use roles in experiential learning exercises

5 ways to use roles in experiential learning exercises

13 March 2015

One excellent way of better tailoring experiential exercises to the particular context,situation and objectives within...

Shirley goes very international!

Shirley goes very international!

06 February 2015

Shirley has teamed up with an amazing facilitator called Steve Creffield from Evolve in Brighton....

MBTI in Coaching

MBTI in Coaching

06 February 2015

In December 2014, Shirley was lucky enough to be asked to deliver two workshops for...

10 ways to make your team meetings more engaging

10 ways to make your team meetings more engaging

23 September 2014

We spend a lot of time in meetings these days and most of them are...

10 ways to use picture cards in your workshops and coaching sessions

10 ways to use picture cards in your workshops and coaching sessions

12 August 2014

Picture cards are an essential part of every facilitator's toolkit. They are powerful, elegant...

«
»

our clients

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

about azesta

We at Azesta are a Yorkshire based company that has been delivering great learning experiences for over a decade. 

contact us

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 01423 711904
  azesta limited, 7 Kings Court, Pateley Bridge, HG3 5JW, Harrogate