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Is failure to be encouraged?

failed ideas

Despite the best efforts of experts to predict, real insight remains the rarest of commodities with most forecasts no more accurate than casual observation wrapped in lexicon. High profile examples from the world of economics, nature, politics and technology repeatedly demonstrate our inability to predict even the simplest of binary outcomes. Examined as a whole this should come as no surprise as apparently clear-cut scenarios are in reality aggregations of poorly defined, yet subtle interactions.

This entanglement can easily obscure understanding to the point where even defining a starting point causes confusion and progress stalls. Yet amongst this chaos beckons opportunity. Put misconception aside; question the status quo; accept the risk of failure at a personal, organisational and even groupthink professional level and insight awaits. Well designed experiments constructively challenge assumptions, reveal underlying cause and effect, rule out flawed hypotheses yet develop understanding and are ultimately the lifeblood of innovation. For this to work, failure is not only an option, it is essential. Perhaps then it’s time we embraced it.

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