Do you really need to celebrate failure to improve continuously?

Last century I learned about something called TQM which was all about empowering teams and improving processes. Now I am learning about agile and design thinking concepts.

These are great approaches and we have learned many things over the years, but some things have not changed.

For example, one thing common to all of these approaches is the concept that failure is good.

Failure is learning, so it is better to “fail fast” or “learn and pivot” than to avoid doing anything until you are sure it is safe.

But to be honest, when I fly from city to city I would prefer that the pilot does not fail often. In fact I hope he or she has flown the same plane a lot with other less important people, before taking me up and away from the safe ground I was on.

So, should be happy when we fail?

(warning – this is a very long read for a blog, but I thought I would send it out and fail to interest you rather than stop to think it through properly)

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