Learning from Failures

    Failure can be better than success – at least as a teaching tool. New research from the University of Colorado examines how well companies deal with success and failure in the long run.

    Failure can be better than success – at least as a teaching tool. New research from the University of Colorado examines how well companies deal with success and failure in the long run.

    The study found that when companies learn from a big mess and make smart changes, they often flourish in the long run. It also claims that knowledge gained from success is fleeting, while lessons from failures last much longer.

    Villanova University business professor Ron Hill says during this recession, many companies have shown a new interest in studying flops:

    Hill: Sometimes when things are going very well for a company, they tend to get lulled into a quiet and silence and do the same things over and over again and they are broken from that reverie when something bad happens. So this is an opportunity look at themselves and to see not only what went wrong, but to make that not happen again

    Hill says teaching future entrepreneurs how to learn from a flop is especially important today – because many young people entering the work force have been shielded from ever experiencing failure:

    Hill: Every team they have gone out for, they have been allowed on that team, teachers go out of their way to benchmark against themselves, but not against the people around them, they haven’t faced some of those early, inconsequential failures that allow them to grow up

    Hill says it’s important for companies not to blame one individual in the aftermath of failure, but to look at the larger structures that lead to troubles.

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