Turning Failures Into Opportunities
Mis à jour : mars 26
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Henry Ford
Life is about setting goals, making decisions and taking action. The main objectif being to challenge yourself to succeed. But what happens when you miss the mark? It’s natural to feel embarrassment, disbelief, and anger in the face of failure. In those moments, you have two choices: either you face your failure and learn from it or, you play the blame game to avoid being accountable for your misfiring, or again avoid addressing the failure altogether.
Unfortunately, the latter reaction prevents you from driving valuable insights from your failures and identify actionable opportunities.
It does not matter how many times you fail, along as you learn from the experience, it can only be beneficial for you. Providing that you learn from the experience. Yes, you definitely need to move on . Yes, trying again is your best option. However, you don't want to fall in the same trap again. In order to avoid that, there are valuable steps you can take first to inform your next moves. If you can build a culture that supports failure, and implement procedures that help you report and analyze what went wrong, you’ll be poised to identify opportunities and take action based on your findings.
Everything that you implement in your life and that help you move forward, will contribute to your success and give you that "feel good" feeling. It could be your health, the acquisition of a new competence, a happy event in your life, success in your career, etc. All will contribute to your wellbeing.
Let me ask you this question: "from a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being "terrible" and 10 being "awesome", "How good do you feel about your life"? Dependent your on asnwer, let me ask you this: "What are you prepared to do in order to start expressing the best version of yourself in everything that you do despite any failure you may encounter? Failure is part of life and I want you to appreciate the difference it makes when you take full responsibility of your actions and decisions and resulting failures when they happen.
The program I have available for you boils down to 4 main steps to teach you how to mange failures and how to learn from them.
Step 1: Foster a Culture of Failure
Each failure is an opportunity to reconsider, to refocus and to review your strategy. You have to be able to face your failures and to learn from them. When failures are swept under the rug, you lose the chance to discover valuable information about that step of the journey to your goal. In order for you to create and foster a Culture of failure it is crucial that you ask yourself the right questions to understand the root causes of the failure, to tackle them, and at the same time, empower yourself to take the relevant corrective measures.
By viewing failure as an inevitable and important part of serving your cause, you will put yourself in a space where you will feel stronger and stripped of any sense of denial. You'll now be able to face your reality.
It’s one thing to realize the importance of failures, but you need to put in place the strategies to support the actions of correcting them.
Step 2: Create a Procedure for Analyzing Failure
You will feel more comfortable examining your failures if you can refer to an existing protocol. There are several ways for you to facilitate this analysis. You need to identify and understand the underlying premises of your failures.
If you find it too cumbersome to create a procedure the program I have for you will show you how. Whatever approach you adopt to identify the root causes, you need to gather your thoughts beforehand. Embark into the process free of self pity, beating yourself up or any thing crazy like that. Keep an opened mind and bear in mind that this is a learning process.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help fuel your introspection.
Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
Struggling to find the root cause of your problem could simply boil down to your failure to have an opportunity to ask the 5 “why”s of problem solving to learn what you could have done differently.
The method is remarkably simple: when a problem occurs, you drill down to its root cause by asking "Why?" five times. Then, when a counter-measure becomes apparent, you follow it through to prevent the issue from recurring.
In addition to finding the root cause of the problem, it is also helpful to consider three “what”s, so that you understand which elements of your approach are worth preserving and which can be improved. This exercise is what is known as an "After Action Review" - AAR which will dissect the different stages of your investigation.
What worked well?
Identify the aspects of the process where you did well and celebrate. Celebration does not have to be anything fancy. All you want is to acknowledge yourself in which ever way you feel comfortable.
What didn’t work well?
Be humble and recognize that you are not perfect. Obviously, if you failed in a specific area, it means that you are not perfect and that you are just a "work in progress" individual. We all are.
What didn't work well could be things like:
Failure to present a clear message
Failure to keep things fun
Failure to keep n your promises
Failure to tidy your mess
Failure to create a sense of urgency
What external factors are at play?
It's key for you to identify external factors that contributed to your failure. However, you must remember that you are the one in charge and that it's your responsibility to do your due diligence and ensure that all external factors are under control.
Step 3: Analyse Your Findings
It's not so much about writing things down. Your findings could be written, or be the result of an experience. The key is to make sure that you don't make the same mistakes again. From your analysis, you will have access to the lessons learned.
At this stage of your review, you start having a better understanding on how you plan to remedy the problem for next time. Why a next time? Well ! Because failures happen. The are part of life...
Step 4: Identify Opportunities and Take Corrective Action
It will often be difficult to pinpoint a single item as the cause of a failure. You may identify several root causes that require attention. In this training program I will show you how to adopt a step by step approach to tackle the problem.
We will have a detailed review of what a corrective action is and how to conduct it.
For now, here's a short definition of a corrective action.
A Corrective Action serves the purpose of eliminating the root cause of a given problem, thus, preventing an undesired outcome.
Deciding on what actions to take after a failure should be a thoughtful process. While you need to act promptly, don’t rush. Create your Action Plan knowing that your solutions may not be permanent, but with the goal that they will be. Like I said before, things happen and same mistakes could be made again and cause a failure.
To determine appropriate corrective actions, investigate the incident’s root cause(s). Then, decide which actions could reasonably eliminate the causes.
As strange as it may sound, success is good but failure is better. Failure doesn’t mean your decision or goal wasn’t valid or that your dream isn’t good enough. Failure simply means there is something to be learned or another direction to be taken.
To your success