How To Fail Forward

(*information obtained from the book “A More Beautiful Question”)

With failing forward, the trick is to go from one failure to another, with no loss of enthusiasm. You must be thinking, how can someone learn to perform the trick of “failing enthusiastically“? Anytime you are experimenting and things don’t go as planned, instead of looking at it as a failure, you must learn to see it as an opportunity to learn.

How do I learn to learn from failure? There are multiple ways of how you can learn from failure, but one way to learn is through questioning. Rather than run from a failure or try to forget it ever happened, hold it to the light and inquire. Why did the idea or effort fail?

What if I could take what I’ve learned from this failure and try a revised approach?

How might I do that?

In addition, as Bob Sutton mentioned in the book, when analyzing a misstep, in addition, to asking what went wrong, you should also ask, in this failure, what went right? For example, when you try out something and it seems to have succeeded, look for what went wrong or could have been better. The best learning comes from looking at successes and failures side by side.

Lastly, in analyzing a series of setbacks, a key question to ask is Am I failing differently each time? If you keep making the same mistakes again and again, you aren’t learning anything. If you keep making new and different mistakes, that means you are doing new things and learning new things.

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