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December 11, 2017

 

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    Entries in experiment (2)

    Friday
    Jan092015

    Be more encouraging with failure

    Hooray, I failed! Candy Crush or any other addictive game will celebrate with me about how I didn't make that level.

    It's celebrated with a big colourful banner, sound effects, cheery, joyous music, AND an exclamation point.

    "You've failed!"

    I can't wait to have another go at it to see if I can learn what I've been doing wrong and get somewhere closer to succeeding. After all, it's fun. I'm failing and I'm trying again.

    Playing a digital game we're encouraged to rejoice at our failure and enthused to try again.

    Plenty to read over recent years about failure in well authored books and leading magazines and how we need to accept it in the workplace. Ok, well and good... but I just don't think we're 'accepting' failure quite right.

    I failed at work? OK, where's the cheery music? Where's the banner and the sound effects? And where is the exclamation point !?!

    Building on the happy lessons of improvisers who say ‘yes and’ and who make their partners look good, experimenting and failing is also being willing to let go of your first idea. What else can you cook up?

    At one of the earliest improvisation workshops I went to where we were learning the tools, techniques and philosophies of improv, the phrase ‘again’ was shouted with joy when a scene was ‘stuffed up’ or failed. If the story didn't progress or a playing partner didn't pick up the line and run with it, we shouted 'go again', and we have another try and say or do something else. Anything else. Just do something!

    We simply started again and had another go at it. Hands up in the air, leaping up, shouting 'I stuffed up!' or 'Again!'

    Yes, THERE's the exclamation point! Go again!

    Be more encouraging with failure and going 'again' this year. If something doesn't work, try something else. Just go again. Because we failed! Hooray!

    Monday
    Dec302013

    "I didn't think; I experimented"

    Kick off 2014 with some experimentation. No need to overthink, ponder for too long or wonder. 

    Just start. 

    Try something out. 

    Then try something else. 

    Keep on experimenting. 

    "I didn't think; I experimented" is exactly what Wilhelm Rontgen did. 

    If you or someone in your circle or network has had an x-ray lately, you can thank Wilhelm.  It was he who discovered and detected the wavelength that we know today as x-rays, or 'Rontgen rays'.

    A Nobel Prize later and he was recognised as truly having changed the future of health care and medicine. 

    And if you're a fan of the TV show 'Big Bang Theory', you'll understand how cool it is that Wilhelm was also recognised by having one of the elements named after him. Number 111, 'Roentengium'.

    He didn't just sit, gazing out the window thinking about how x-rays might work. He got to it, experimenting, testing, trying things out. 

    Wilhelm took notes after each of his experiments and kept on testing and investigating. He was human... and he was worried that his ideas may have been seen as a bit too out there or in error. 

    But without his experiments, our health care and medical diagnoses could be so very different. Wilhelm is a brilliant inspiration and a reminder that few pieces of truly impactful work are created by just thinking. Sure, start with a thought, an idea... but then go and test it out. 

    Talk to someone about it. Get a minimum viable product up and out there to see how it might be received, how it could work, what else needs to happen.