For most of us, failure is not an option

Here’s to the F word all the cool execs like to talk about.

Go back to school days and chances are that your parents (or guardians) would have been quite pissed if your report card had a F anywhere on it. Little has changed. Students are instilled with a fear of failure by the very adults that idolize the concept in the world-wide workplace. It’s not ok to fail while at business school, but business? That’s another matter.

Fail forward. Fail fast. Fail cheap. Fail often.

We marketing types are kind of to blame. What is one to expect from a department stacked with quirky folks identifiable by their love of their own reflections, voices and imported cars. This is after all a group with immense foresight, talent and ability. When marketing folks fail, they repackage it into something dressed in aspirational terminology. Turn the negative into an advantage. Package it. Make it desirable. Make it appeal rationally and emotionally. Repurpose a manufacturer’s junk box into lucrative sex toys for octogenarians. People of the world will rejoice. As they should.

Failing forward: The same can be said of engine failure in mid-flight over the Pacific.

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