There are many great quotes from famous people that tell us how they learned from their mistakes. The following are some famous quotes from Thomas Edison:
Just because something does not do what you planned it to do does not mean it's useless.
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they brave up.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that do not work.
If one of the most famous inventors in the world can laugh at his mistakes and move on, we should all be able to do the same. A recent article in Business Week entitled "How Failure Breeds Success" talks about many of the well-known mistakes that big companies have made. For example, the article talks about Coca Cola's mistakes when it introduced "New Coke."
After the failure with New Coke, the CEO admitted publicly that his company made a big mistake. However, he said, "You will see some failures … .. As we take more risks, this is something we must accept as part of the regeneration process." The CEO knew that Coca Cola had to take bigger risks and tolerate failures to inevitably lead to growth and greater success.
Stefab G, Thomke, a professor at Harvard Business School and author of Experimentation Matters, states: "Failure is not a bad thing … (Failure) is so important to the experimental process." Business Week, July 10, 2006, p. 44. The Business Week article goes on to say that innovation requires organizations to explore, experiment, and foul up. Intelligent failures should be encouraged as part of the success process.
What does all this mean for the smaller business or entrepreneur? We can learn from the big companies that risk is a big part of the growth process. We can learn to encourage our employees to "think outside the box" and not to fear retribution if they make mistakes. We must learn not to be risk-averse and to accept mistakes as part of the growth process.
We should also learn to listen to our employees, our customers, and our vendors, because they can give us a different perspective that may lead to new, profitable ideas. We should learn to ask these people questions and let them work with prototypes before our new projects go too far. Finally, we can look back at previous failures to consider whenever they shed any new information on our current operations.
Jo Ann Joy, Esq., MBA, CEO
The future of your business starts here!
You may contact Jo Ann by phone at (602) 663-7007, by fax at (602) 324-7582, by email at joannjoy @ Indigo Business Solutions.net , and by mail at 2313 East Ocotillo Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016 I have many published articles, and I will send any article to you free of charge. Most consultations are free.