Learning from failure - a Growth Mindset

Can you explain what you mean by 'agency behaviours'? I think you are making the point that there is no source of negative feedback for a council, unlike a business which can try to analyse why it is losing customers?
In essence agency theory postulates that executive employees of organisations act as agents of the organisations owners. They don’t own the organisation and so have a tendency to act in their own interests rather than those of the organisation.

In the corporate world manifestations include excessive boardroom pay. IMHO that’s now a massive problem in local government.

But it’s fundamentally different; corporate executives who ramp up pay have to perform or the company goes broke and they are near unemployable. Public sector executives can act in self with self-interest, get found out then get another big ticket role.
 

Yokel

LE
In Sports, “Innovate or Die”

I have three favorite sayings when it comes to being the best athlete you can be. First, “If you want to perform like everyone else, be like everyone else.” In other words, if you want to be a decent athlete among many, do what they do.

Second, an old Texas adage says, “If you all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you’ve ever got.” In other words, if you keep doing the same things that you’ve always done, you can expect that you will stay on pretty much the same trajectory as you’ve been on.


Not just sports of course - anything.
 

Yokel

LE
In essence agency theory postulates that executive employees of organisations act as agents of the organisations owners. They don’t own the organisation and so have a tendency to act in their own interests rather than those of the organisation.

In the corporate world manifestations include excessive boardroom pay. IMHO that’s now a massive problem in local government.

But it’s fundamentally different; corporate executives who ramp up pay have to perform or the company goes broke and they are near unemployable. Public sector executives can act in self with self-interest, get found out then get another big ticket role.
Proponents of Marxism insist on telling us capitalist enterprise is evil and everything should be done for the state by the state, yet this leads to toxic behaviour. Look at the way leaky oil pipelines were tolerated in the USSR as there was no loss of profit.

Perhaps we can make an analogy to UK public services and how they have become a race to the bottom with the checks and balances of being elected or answerable to customers or even shareholders?
 

Yokel

LE
Why is it an oxymoron? Did you fail to read the article? Are you really saying that nothing can be learnt when things go wrong? Or that improvement does not involve experimentation and finding out what does not work?

The point is that failure is inevitable, so accept it and learn from it.
 

gorillaguts981

Old-Salt
Mr W S Churchill said 'the secret of success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm'. I believe he eventually made good after a few false starts.
 
Proponents of Marxism insist on telling us capitalist enterprise is evil and everything should be done for the state by the state, yet this leads to toxic behaviour. Look at the way leaky oil pipelines were tolerated in the USSR as there was no loss of profit.

Perhaps we can make an analogy to UK public services and how they have become a race to the bottom with the checks and balances of being elected or answerable to customers or even shareholders?
The worst example being the railways which exist in isolation from market failure in a world where failure is frequent yet largely unpunished by market forces?

How many franchisees have walked away, how bad can Southern be, how poor can Network Rail’s delivery get etc etc. Yet the only radical solution to the railways belongs to Corbyn and it isn’t radical at all. Compare with the airline industry where competition has driven up choice and quality whilst driving down price. And where businesses that stuff up like the railways end up failing.
 

Yokel

LE
On Friday I found JSP 940: MOD Policy for Quality

MOD policy for Quality (JSP 940)

Chapter Five outlines Quality Improvement by learning from experience. This is where failure has benefit, as it allows shortcomings and problems to be identified. If MOD are widely using things such as PDCA I would be very happy.
 
On Friday I found JSP 940: MOD Policy for Quality

MOD policy for Quality (JSP 940)

Chapter Five outlines Quality Improvement by learning from experience. This is where failure has benefit, as it allows shortcomings and problems to be identified. If MOD are widely using things such as PDCA I would be very happy.
LfE is the new big thing in some circles.
 

Yokel

LE
LfE is the new big thing in some circles.
Does that mean people will no longer be punished when things beyond their control conspire to make things go wrong? Or when attempting something new their performance is not as good as someone who has been doing it for years?
 
LfE is the new big thing in some circles.
Does the old adage of "Lessons Identified don't always transition to Lessons Learned" still hold?
 

Yokel

LE
Does the old adage of "Lessons Identified don't always transition to Lessons Learned" still hold?
Probably. A cynical old ex PWO once told me that lessons learned implied that all the things identified had been addressed, which often was not possible due to things like financial limitations or political expediency.

When was the last time a Government Minister stood and said "sorry - the policy was wrong"?
 

Yokel

LE
Did my edit to the original post to insert user names work? People in defence who might have something to say about the need to learn from failure, and to encourage innovation in training and developing tactics.

@Guns
@A2_Matelot
@alfred_the_great
@Bouillabaisse
@instinct
@jim30
@Ravers
@SnagySnags
@Seadog
@seaweed
@Dunservin
@Magic_Mushroom
@Himmler74
@Sarastro
@Caecilius
@bobthebuilder
@ECMO1
@Wordsmith
@Not a Boffin
@Archimedes
@Solo Dave
"People in defence..." How many of these users are still serving???
 

Yokel

LE
"People in defence..." How many of these users are still serving???
I think the concept of learning from failure, and seeing it as a learning opportunity, applies to everyone. In some ways ex forces personnel who have then pursued private sector careers are the people I want to hear from, along with people who have been involved in things like training, procurement, and anything else.

What about people who have set up businesses, or grown them? Or people involved in things like healthcare or education. What would a teacher (such as @Ortholith or @GrumpyWasTooCheerful) say about the problem of failure being stigmatised, so kids get demoralised if they do less well in a test, instead of seeing it as a learning opportunity?
 

Yokel

LE
Six Simple Tips for Overcoming Failure

1. Become Mindful of Your Self-Talk and Argue Back

The first step in addressing any problem is identifying it. So the first thing you need to do to change your mindset is to identify when you are slipping into a fixed mentality. For example, a middle-aged writer (such as myself) might get a rejection for the umpteenth time and think, “Maybe I’m too old to start a writing career.” But if I remind myself that this is my fixed mindset talking, I could argue back by stating, “Then again, you’re never too old to learn a new skill,” or “Lots of successful writers started their career at my age or even later.”

2. Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome

I am the first to admit that when I get rejected, I just want to throw my hands up and say, “I just wasted all of that time for nothing. What’s the point!” But then I remind myself that “failure” is just another word for “learning.” Even though the outcome wasn’t what I wanted, I still benefited from the process. Author Kristin Hannah summarized this principle best when she said, “it doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to sell your first book or your 50th book, or you’re trying to redefine your career, or you’re trying to reinvent what it is you do, it’s always going to be difficult. There are always going to be naysayers, and it’s always going to be easier to either give up or follow the path of least resistance or write what appears to be the easy answer for success at that moment. Those skills that you develop as an unpublished writer—your discipline, your dedication—I think all of that holds you in really good stead as you continue forward and transition from a beginning writer to a working writer to a career novelist.” So I remind myself that every single thing I do helps me build my writing career, regardless of whether it results in a publication.

Do the same when you experience failure. Remind yourself that someday in the future when you finally do break in, you’ll be bringing with you an arsenal of skills (including a thick skin) to help you navigate your new career.

3. Discover the Power of Yet

To help students adopt a growth mindset, a high school in Chicago made a radical move. They did away with failure in their grading system. When a student didn’t pass a class, instead of an F, they received a Not Yet. So the next time your work is rejected, don’t interpret it as evidence that you are not skilled. Instead, remind yourself that what it really means is you are not skilled yet. Notice how just the addition of that one word changes the meaning and conveys a sense of hope.

4. Expand Your Mind

Just learning that your brain can change is enough to rewire your mindset. One study found that teaching children about the brain’s malleable quality led them to adopt a growth mindset in school, boosted their motivation, and made them more resilient to failure. You can do the same thing by googling the term "neuroplasticity." Or better yet, check out the TED Talk by my fellow colleague and growth mindset expert, Carol Dweck. And you can also look for evidence of neuroplasticity in your own life by reflecting on a skill or hobby that you once were not very good at and now are.

5. Focus on the Internal Reasons For Your Pursuits

People with a fixed mindset hunger for others’ approval because that’s the only way they can validate their talent. They want to prove their talent, not improve it. But if the main reason you want success is to get others’ approval (or to become rich, which also requires others’ approval), you are setting yourself up for a world of hurt. So when the inevitable sting of rejection strikes, remind yourself that you do what you do, first and foremost, because you love it. Because you are compelled to do it. They say that a true writer writes, regardless of whether they get approval for it. The same could be said for nearly any pursuit, so long as you do it because you love it.

6. Praise Others for their Effort

In addition to changing your own mindset, consider paying it forward and changing the mindset of those around you. When a child brings home straight A’s and her parents say, “Wow, you must be a genius,” they are unknowingly encouraging her to adopt a fixed mindset. Instead, if the parents were to say, “Wow, you must have worked really hard in your classes,” they would be encouraging a growth mindset. Research shows that praising children for their effort (not their inherent talent) helps them cope with future failure and improves their performance. So the next time you praise someone for their success—be it a child or adult—highlight their effort, not their talent.
 
  • Failure (as long as it wasn't fatal ;-p) is a learning opportunity.
  • Constructive criticism is welcome. False praise is bad feedback and serves no useful purpose.
  • Aspiration and ambition are good when tempered with humility and the ability to accept constructive criticism.
  • Beware of sharing plans with naysayers and be prepared to have to prove them wrong. That is not the same as discounting sound advice.
  • Many businesses fail because of wishful thinking vs market research. "This is the best lead cloak ever made". Think "How can I add value to this?"
  • Motivation. What is your motivator? It can be survival, an ambition or perhaps someone else providing the motivation that you need.
  • Visualisation. If you can't visualise your desired outcome, find an environment, situation, person or people who can help you visualise it.
  • Affirmation and programming. You can repeat a script all day long with no effect other than an ability to repeat it. To effect change you need to believe in that change. Set stretch goals. Not too easy and not too hard. Build on success.
  • In times of doubt, don't sell yourself short. Reflect on how often you have beaten the odds. Draw a line. Set another task and get on with it. These tasks all add up to progress.
 

exiledblue

Old-Salt
Or the “bang a square into a round hole” scenario. Take the traffic management example given above...how many instances, in organisations, does something get proposed - people are afraid of being seen as negative so support it...it is then implemented and...does to work. The “yes men” still don’t want to be seen as being negative, the higher ups don’t want to be proven wrong and...the whole thing is adopted anyway because it cost so much money to implement in the first place.
“If it doesn’t work- we’ll make it work” attitude.
The Traffic Management example is a good one - I worked in traffic at a number of different Councils and someone would write to a councillor about some traffic management scheme that they had seen somewhere else (different country usually), and how it was so good. It would then become flavour of the month and Council and Senior Management pushing for a trial.

No matter how much we pointed out that its been trialed before, didn't work or had no significant result they would still push for it and spend money on the trial, press releases etc etc. End of trial results as predicted, no significant impact, trial quietly dropped or retained but no publishing of the full results.
 

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