Breaking Digital Gridlock

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Breaking Weekly Digital Gridlock #5: Don’t Confuse Failure With Incompetence

Weekly FinTech Tip: Failure is a Part of Success!

Don’t confuse failure with incompetence. Many financial institutions have very little tolerance for failure. Failure of any sort is unacceptable. Failure is not the opposite of success, but rather the path to success. Unfortunately, if you conflate failure and incompetence, the message you are sending your staff is “don’t try anything”, except failure as part of the process.

Failure and incompetence aren’t the same. Failure means that something didn’t go right. Maybe the product rule out didn’t perform as you planned. Incompetence is when somebody doesn’t do something right. Perhaps you told someone on the project they need to research this or they need to go look into that, and if they didn’t do it, that’s incompetence. Failure and success are not mutually exclusive. Failure can be a part of a perfectly executed project. Failing is a key component to innovation. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying. You need to fail fast so that you can succeed.

How does your organization handle failure? I’d love to hear about it, so sound off in the comments below.

For more information on creating a culture that is tolerant of failure, check out my book, Breaking Digital Gridlock, available on Amazon and anywhere books are sold.

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