Failure is not an Option…..Maybe it should be!!

Have you ever heard the phrase…..failure is not an option!!  This may be so when it applies to space travel or bringing a man back from space.  When we face a life or death situation.

But…inside your firm and looking at Marketing Strategy, we have a different situation.  You see….failure is a very important cultural benefit…..if you have a healthy & constructive culture.  How can this be?   Rather simple, actually….if you are not failing enough inside your firm….it means that you may not be trying or experimenting with a lot of ideas.

 And experimentation and innovation leads to new products or services for you to expand.
You see, the GREAT Marketers understand that it is very DIFFICULT to predict success.  Very few of us are that smart.   But if you experiment enough….or take an empirical approach to trying things…..you just may trip over something or the light bulb goes on regarding something new, different, and exciting.    So in this regard…..failure may be a very good option…….if performed on a limited basis and if the team takes the time to debrief…..to learn….to study what went wrong…..and then revise the idea and go back to experiment or expand.

The above is how the BIG ideas get discovered.  They are rarely planned….in advance.

Some years ago a writer was interviewing the famous, Sam Walton, founder of Walmart.
The writer asked Mr Walton…….how can you explain your success?  What followed was interesting.
Mr Walton replied:     that’s easy  MAKING GOOD DECISIONS
The writer then asked: how do you make good decisions…..the reply ALWAYS BE LEARNING
Final question to Walton was:  so how do you keep learning….the reply MAKING BAD DECISIONS

i.e.  Walton was confirming that you must be learning from your failures or bad decisions!!

So what is the culture in your firm?  Can someone fail without being punished or fired?
Do you have a culture of experimentation?   Do you have a culture of learning?

If not, how will you go about growing and trying new things.  Not easy but required.

So here’s to your failures…..and better yet….your learning & innovation!!

       Steve Brody
      Brody & Associates