“In some cases though, there is such a thing as a spectacularly successful failure!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Hey, did anyone notice the golf this weekend? It went really well for me; in what might have been the final match between my son and I this weekend, I again lost on the 18th hole – but had one of the BEST match rounds against him all summer.
In golf speak, I went : +1 E +1 + 1 +1 E +1 +1 +2 and on the back 9, +2 +1 E +1 E +1 +1 E -1.
In other words, I was always either in the lead, or even. And I kept battling back, making shots, dropping putts, working strategy, managing the course. It was epic! He’s a 3 handicap, I’m a 17, and so I got some strokes…. And as always, my loss came down to a bad chip on #18.
But coming off the course, I realized that it’s ok to fail, if you do a really good job while failing! It was a great fail!
Oh, there were a few other golf matches on the weekend too, did you see, over in France, which didn’t involve the same sort of innovation lesson? It’s going to take a long time for the American team to figure out how to learn from what went wrong!
So what’s with the picture? After my 2nd keynote for the PGA of America – the sponsor of the Ryder Cup – I led a panel discussion on concepts of innovation with some senior executives in the golf industry, including from GolfTec, GameGolf and TopGolf.
I will often do such panel discussions, which include discussions around innovation lessons and ideas, and will often address the idea of learning from failure. It’s a critically important part of innovation.
So, if you fail today, it’s ok – as long as you do well while doing it!