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Have experts failed enough?

I lifted the post below in its entirety from Tim Brunelle's blog, Useful Lunacy, because it struck a nerve. From Wieden + Kennedy's 100,000 pushpins mural that spells out Fail Harder, to the USA administration's mantra about certain financial institutions being Too Big To Fail, maybe that word fail is becoming a little too embedded in our culture; that is, unless we actually learn from our mistakes and make the necessary adjustments, or better yet, learn to start a project with a strategy that has a long-term goal and a roadmap to success. In other words it's not good enough to just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get right back to where we started.

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Apollo 13
And then there's always Thomas Edison who is quoted as saying "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Edison must have had a lot of time on his hands because today I wonder if we actually have the time or patience to make 9,999 mistakes..and would our clients hold their breath while we go about making them? I doubt it.

Here's Tim Brunelle's thoughts:

Neils Bohr, the physicist, is said to have said, "An expert is [someone] who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field."

We are a culture, here in the U.S., which worships expertise; which suggests we ought to embrace failure.

The question is, have our experts failed enough to know what they're talking about?

Has the team at BP failed enough to convey expertise in their field?

Have the folks on Wall Street failed enough to convince the rest of us they really know the effects of derivatives and hedges?

Has the current administration failed enough in Afghanistan and Iraq to begin not failing?

Has your enterprise failed enough to have learned the lesson?

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