Tolerated failure

David Gurteen highlighted one of Dave Snowden‘s precepts today:

Tolerated failure imprints learning better than success.

I’ve written before that most people get this in theory in organisations but applying it in practice is harder. (See here, for example). But it struck me that when I’m doing improv performance, I get a lot of practice at tolerating failure – and in the tolerance having the chance to learn or to try something new.

I do some training and coaching with fellow facilitators, and I’d say that learning to tolerate failure, or what we label failure, is one of the most important qualities to practice. And I know I get lots of chances to practice.

1 thought on “Tolerated failure

  1. Antonio Dias

    When dealing with creativity it is difficult to differentiate between “failure” and “success.” The terms become almost meaningless. To an intolerant, impatient mind a creative response and a failure will appear to be the same thing: not what they want.

    Within an attitude that embraces creativity it is still difficult to tell the two apart, but this ambiguity is welcomed and not resisted.

    It comes down to an acceptance of negative capability, the ability to function and thrive within an appreciation of the unavoidable existence of uncertainty.

    Within this approach, at least we have the assurance that moving away from what is expected takes us away from the only sure path to failure, more of the same!


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