Goals 2014: How Are You Managing Your Risk Of Failure?

Do You Feel Failure Is A Badge Of Honour?

Do You Feel Failure Is A Badge Of Honour?

Despite your risk management strategy have you ever failed when leading a new project / stepping into a job role / taking on a leadership challenge? You might recognise the warning signs pointing to ‘Failure Ahead’: a cycle of sleepless nights; mounting frustration and anxiety during the day and ultimately, the admission of defeat.

Are There Positive Lessons From Failure?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to the opening question here’s another one to consider. What did you learn from your experience of missing your goal?

Having looked at Success in a recent post it makes sense to consider Failure now. There is even an upside when comparing your failed outcome, to the success you planned for. You have the chance to try a different approach next time. I learned just such a positive lesson from a failure in my past. In a nutshell, pay attention to your gut instincts when they are telling you ‘nope, this really isn’t working out’.

The reality of failure could lead you to take a different approach next time, by:

  • exercising more diligence before pursuing a new opportunity
  • establishing a more realistic set of milestones in the planning phase
  • connecting to more people to create an effective support system for yourself.

What Are The Real World Benefits Of Failure?

These broad themes – diligence, planning and support – are ones entrepreneur Faisal Butt explored in his recent presentation about the benefits of ‘Failure’ at The Business Show 2014. The gist of his argument also features in this Management Today Opinion piece. The article is definitely worth a read if success in business, or leadership, are your priorities. You can also follow tweets on the with the hashtag #TBS2014 and see more about Faisal on Twitter @FaisalButt_

What Does Research Say About Failure Leading To Success?

Interestingly Barclays’ research (regarding high net worth individuals) suggests that 51% of those sampled agree past failure in entrepreneurial endeavours increases the chance that a new business will succeed. So that may mean leaders are, on balance, more optimistic than not in the face of failure. Optimism seems to be a key component in perseverance, whether in business or other parts of life.

What Are You Doing To Manage Your Risk Of Failure?

Here are some questions you may want to consider, with coaching support:

  • How does your leadership strategy prompt your actions which limit the risk of failure?
  • What steps do you take to maintain and strengthen your stock of optimism?
  • How could your support system / professional connections help you achieve better results?

Feel free to have a conversation about this topic with your colleagues.  I’d be interested to know what you and your team think.  You can find me on Twitter @RogerD_said

There are more ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile

There May Be Trouble Ahead

English: The diagram above represents a generi...

English: The diagram above represents a generic framework for risk management. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fictional head of the Twenty Twelve Olympic Deliverance Team, Ian Fletcher, would have been quietly scathing had a hapless contractor failed to produce the promised level of security staff days before the Opening Ceremony.   What a nightmare for an Olympic Chief with days to go before the Games begin.

Olympic Chief – “So are you telling me, the Head of Olympic Deliverance, that your firm managed the risk of not delivering the full quota of 12,000 fully trained and equipped staff – at the right venues, at the right time – by basically, crossing your fingers?”

Hapless Contractor – “In strategic terms, utilising our end-to-end ‘recruitment to deployment’ process we should have provided the full roster of staff at each venue, as per our contract.”

OC – “Well, thank you for that answer to a question, in all fairness, I haven’t actually asked.  Turning now to your risk management strategy on this contract.  What would you say that consists of, in a nutshell?”

HC – “In a nutshell?  Being honest?  (Pause) That would be pretty much be what you said. Sorry”

OC – “There you go.  With crossed fingers who needs Risk Registers?  Well. It’s all good.  Luckily there are some uniformed staff not doing much, ahead of the big day.  Aside from brushing the dust of Afghanistan off their boots, seeing their families and so on…”

Coming back to the reality, it’s scary to think that a major contractor thought they could use their standard project planning methodology to seamlessly deliver more than 10,000 staff to 2012’s principle sporting tournament.

Looking at that goal rationally it is a huge challenge to accomplish that outcome on time, without having any experience of successfully completing a project that size, without a carefully tailored approach.

Far from enhancing their reputation for professional delivery this contractor may have placed greater scrutiny on the way they deliver on their other contracts.

I don’t think they will earning a place on the winners’ podium this year.