Allowing Failure

  • bkubicek


    Points: 10697

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Allowing Failure

  • Mark Dalley


    Points: 2519

    This theme reminds me of two quotes:

    "The burned hand teaches best. After that, advice about fire goes to the heart." (from Lord of the Rings)
    "Experience is a good teacher, but her fees are high." (saw this somewhere).

    Personally, "allowing failure" is well down my list of preferred options. When people refuse to listen to advice, they do sometimes have to learn "the hard way". The trouble being, of course, that the fallout from "the hard way" may wreak a company, or a career, or careers. One would therefore prefer to avoid it if possible.

    Of course, one may be able to pull success from the jaws of failure. And that is pretty certain to make a good story, and many fond memories.


  • quackhandle1975


    Points: 10963

    You only ever learn in chess is when you lose.
    - Anon


    [font="Tahoma"]Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung.[/font]
  • jay-h


    Points: 18801

    We learn much more from our failures than our successes ... our successes don't show us things that we didn't already know.

    The children point is important. Over the last few decades, parents and teachers have worried far too much about protecting a child's 'self esteem'. We have a generation of people coming of age who are (if you've been following the news) distressed that college is to stressful and demanding, that grades and tests are oppressive, and that punctuality, grammar, and mathematical standards are arbitrary and oppressive.

    No room for success there.


    -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124951

    It's not so much about allowing people to "fail" as it allowing people to experiment. Small controlled failures are intrinsic to the experimentation process and learning, not just in IT and science but in and everyday life.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • DavidL

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3463

    Just back in the office after a day in the woodshop.  There are no end of ways to 'fail' when making something, and each time I discover one, it is a new lesson.  I was actually talking about this with the guy who mentors me, and I compared it to a time in my life when I took a train to work.  You can get to the train with lots of time to spare, or only a second, but no matter what, you have always 'succeeded'.  The only way to really know what it means to miss a train is to be standing on the platform watching it roll away.  Then you completely understand 'success' and 'failure'.  Until then, they are only concepts.

  • cparks 3541

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 181

    The cost of failure needs to measured against the educational benefit of failure.

  • RandomStream

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3625

    Sky-diving, anyone?

  • Jeff Mlakar


    Points: 2879

    This makes me think of development - especially with learning to code. Failure here is mandatory because it is the only way you'll learn how it works. Like learning a foreign tongue, reading from a textbook isn't enough.

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