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Culture - "let's celebrate failures".

Many companies are working on the culture, that encourage people to experiment, try out new things, think out of the box, by not punishing them for the things that go wrong. This culture brings lots of freedom to people, creates a scene for finding new opportunities, that maybe people would be scared to try out due to potential consequences. With this setup you open your business for potential new horizons. But is there anything that you should think about before diving fully into this?

To make culture of failure celebration work, organization should do certain preparation.

If you are a company that wants to empower people to think out of the box and look for new exiting products, services and approaches, it is not enough just to state that from now on organization will allow people to experiment and try new things. It is important that you, as a company, are transparent with various potentials risks and prepare a playground for experimenting. This way you not only minimize the exposure of your company, but as well raise awareness among the company community.

There are certain steps to think about while setting up "lets celebrate failures" culture:

  1. Help to avoid key organisation risks. Setup organization risk appetite and explain to people - not once, not twice - it needs to be continuous exercise. And no risk management framework is not enough either, give people exact examples what would harm company a lot, so they would know which impact to avoid. Always remember, people do not try things out of fair of not knowing.

  2. Create safe space for going wild. Prepare sandbox environments where people could play around with various potential developments.

  3. Give a chance for creativity. Allocate time for people to try out new ways of working - if everybody is busy with daily stuff, people will not have enough brain capacity to be creative.

  4. Encourage personal accountability - mistakes are not collective. Establish a forum where people come in and share their failures or mistakes with overview what they have learned. This is super important that people understand what mistakes they did, because the best way to learn, is by analyzing "what I could do better next time". Mistakes are not collective, everybody should deep dive where they went wrong. In addition, it is important, that forum is a safe space to be honest and open.

Final thoughts.

If you are an organization that wants to have culture that celebrates failures, which works, spend some time to get ready and help people to be ready for that as well. It is important, that people have time, feel free and understand the boundaries when trying to be creative and implementing new things.


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