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When Things Go (Sometimes Horribly) Wrong

By Jennifer Matt
Published: December 7, 2012

We have a choice how we react to mistakes/failures. This is an area where we can learn from the technology startup world. Mistakes are learning events; sometimes very expensive but invaluable learning opportunities which should be analyzed to get everything you can out of them. Learning from mistakes requires you to remove the moral mindset to your reaction and replace it with an economic mindset.

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Jennifer Matt is the managing editor of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software special interest area as well as President of Web2Print Experts, Inc. a technology-independent print software consulting firm. You can reach her at jen@whattheythink.com.

 

Discussion

By Richard Peck on Dec 07, 2012

Perfect! Wow, what a great concept and an even greater alternative, when things do go wrong! Changed my views, most definitely! Thank you very, very much.

 

By Jennifer Matt on Dec 07, 2012

Thanks Richard, its so easy to assume that punishment will actually change behavior. I think we know that isn't true from our approach to the prison system. Learning is a much better outcome of mistakes. Its really hard to break the pattern but worth the effort because its a game changer.

 

By Gina Danner on Dec 07, 2012

No one ever got better because s/he always did things perfect. Athletes train harder after a loss. They watch game films and study their reaction to each and every play on the court.

In working with sales associates I ask them to complete pre and post call plans. Know what you are going to do then do it and then analyze how you did. Failure is OK as long as we fail forward.

I do think some of the start up culture around failing fast is a bit glorified though. I too often see the start up entrepreneur claim something is a failure when in reality the company founder just lost interest and followed the bright flashing light to the new cool idea.

As an angel investor and entrepreneurial mentor I see way too many start up entrepreneurs that just can't stay focused. They change direction way to often under the guise of failing fast.

 

By Chris Feryn on Dec 07, 2012

I totally agree with your philosophy. If you can build a culture where it is okay to admit failure you can oftentimes stop a mistake from becoming even bigger. You want people focused on finding solutions earlier in the process instead of trying to hide things.

 

By Wayne Lynn on Dec 07, 2012

Jen,

Like many, I have been reading your articles for some time now. I am impressed by the range and depth you display when looking at the human side of this incredible technology we are immersed in today. We need you!

 

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