Thursday, November 1, 2018

Cultivate An Intentional Culture of Failing Forward


I recently wrote (a rather well received post if I must say…) around Curiosity, and had several emails regard culture and support of curiosity. To be more specific:
·         How does my organization get to this point? Intentionally and over time, it requires strong leadership.This is not a culture that can be created over night, it will require systems and processes to mitigate the biases and create the intended outcome.
·         Is this a culture issue or something that is intrinsic to an individual? For the company it is culture development, for the single employee it is individual development. By that I mean, some people naturally gravitate towards learning, and some do not, but even in a person who naturally possess that quality, a culture in an organization can really stifle that curiosity.
·         How do you take action on this concept? Through leadership and individual behaviors and actions that create a culture of curiosity.
·         Is failure apart of curiosity? Yes! How do we learn the most through actual action and the “aha” moments, better known as insight.
So I thought about it for several weeks and decided to write my response to a couple of the questions, that would not require a full dissertation. (I could, but Duvet to Desk is a my part time job for right now).

PQ + CQ > IQ
Passion Quotient (PQ) + Curiosity Quotient (CQ) is greater than (>) Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

When we think about curiosity that leads to innovative solutions, creative problem solving, and inclusion that support, at the very least, but have the strong potential to drive a business strategy; we forget the learning culture that needs to be in place for curiosity to thrive. People tend to learn best through experience, further, people tend to learn the most through growth moments of failing forward. I know I have had my fair share, and only wish to continue to be blessed with moments that I can evolve and grow. A culture of failing forward means creating a space where:
New ideas are accepted
Inclusive behaviors and discomfort are the new standard of team
Learning comes from experience versus formal training
And, a clear understanding that although something didn’t turn out as 100% planned, there is and was something to gain from the circumstance, and planned for in the future

Unfortunately what we have the tendency to do is to stifle our curiosity and innovating thinking, very unintentionally, via the unconscious bias we exhibit, lack of people leadership, unintentional cultures, and bureaucratic nature of business. To get to a place of passion and curiosity, we have to accept that the only constant in our uncertain world is change. It is ok to fail, but you should be failing forward and failing fast.

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