« Happiness is having good health and a bad memory. » (Ingrid Bergman). Decision makers and leaders, how can we remember 2020? One of my first actions in 2021 was to make a list of all things that went wrong in 2020. And the list was endless … Why should I hurt myself again? Maybe, behind these failures, there are keys to achieving success. How do the Experts position themselves on this question and can they avoid you certain failures? Failure or opportunity, an interesting philosophical question and if failure was the mother of innovation?
An evolving governance model, mistakes and successes
2020 a year like no other. The famous “Business as usual” has never been so questioned. In this ever-changing world, our models for decision-making, communication and evaluation have clearly been disrupted by this crisis. When difficulties arise, decision maker are challenged, the word “failure” has often been mentioned. A failure which sometimes even goes beyond the actions of the decision maker in a crisis which exceeded all projections. According to the Cambridge dictionary, the word failure means “the fact of someone or something not succeeding”. Used and felt for its negative character, it is often stifled, banished. In some cases, it is even considered as denial.
However, it is up to us to change this. Could failure not be seen as a reason for success, a necessary step that leads to asking questions, reassessing the situation, call for Experts and adapting one’s decision?
“I never lose, I either win or learn” Nelson Mandela said. You probably knew it but Steve Jobs was fired from his own company at the age of 30, Elon Musk, now a billionaire, was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2008, Richard Branson had many failed attempts before succeeding with Virgin, Walt Disney was fired by his publisher because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” It is often these failures that shaped these leaders. In addition, there are many major scientific discoveries that have been made thanks to failures (for example, Teflon, or even penicillin). “FAIL, First Attempt In Learning”, or failure seen as a key step in innovation and change.
Finally, wouldn’t changing our outlook on “failure” already be a “success”? Enriching the internal perspective with an external perspective is particularly interesting. Experts occupy a central place in this process. With their long experience and their long list of failures, they prevent you from repeating those failures. They participate in particular in making more informed decisions, they also respond to the need for contradiction (see my previous article).
More than ever, 2020 has been a difficult year that has taken a toll on many organizations. However, this crisis has often made it possible to reveal the best of the Women and Men who make up these organizations. By reinventing themselves, some failures have become opportunities, notably by surrounding yourself with Experts. Through this humility, the decision maker surrounds themselves with skills, experience and knowledge that can save them a lot of time and money. Governments policy makers and entrepreneurs need to be supported. They take risks, they make mistakes, but don’t we learn from mistakes?
Experts Without Borders, supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, is committed to facilitating and strengthening the use of Experts, providing the necessary support to decision-makers. We wish you the best for 2021 and support you.
In addition, in recent months we have conducted interviews between Europe and the United States with exceptional leaders, Women and Men who make a difference. Don’t miss our upcoming articles. In particular, you can subscribe to our Linkedin, facebook and youtube channels @ExpertsWithoutBorders.
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Take care of yourself