Embracing Failure

Imagination is key to human progress. I listened to a recent news article that featured the Museum of Failure in Sweden. The Museum’s Founder very gracefully described how he feels we should embrace and celebrate failure, stating quite eloquently that behind every great invention was a series of failures.

It is quite human to be disappointed when something fails, or is not quite as good as it should be. Lindley programmes embrace failure in a similar way to this museum. We help people reflect and identify learning to take forward.

The Importance of Reflection

Some of our most creative thinking is done during idle time. Yet in today’s society with increased pressure, ongoing change and our ever-expanding to do list, we rarely take time out to chat to colleagues about how things might be or even simply ponder for a few minutes.

Organisations are starting to recognise the importance of giving people time to reflect. Increasingly, you hear of nap rooms, coffee bars, on-site massage and other initiatives in the workplace. These all work towards creating a culture where the personal and strategic risk taking that creativity requires is actively encouraged. Too often I hear people write themselves off by saying ‘I’m just not the creative type!’. It’s as if being creative is not something that can be learnt. It is!

Imagination is about being creative, playful and revealing unexpected connections. It commonly helps us see the familiar in new ways. I would suggest that many employers should encourage such skills in their workforce.

Many organisations need people to embrace change and see it as an opportunity for things to progress.

“It is not the strongest that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

A well-structured outdoor training programme has great potential to help people reconnect their creative edge:

Using inspiring settings

The outdoors offers a new and exciting learning environment. Working together and solving problems in an inspiring environment means individuals naturally start to view things very differently and more importantly they start to act differently. Individuals who tends to shy away from throwing in ideas, start to contribute and engage in the problem solving process. The stimulus of an inspiring setting helps to break down established behaviors and encourages imaginative personal risk taking.

Building confidence to tackle new challenges and enter new situations

People get stuck in their ways and get comfortable with the way things have always been done. Taking people away from the normal work setting, gives them a chance to try different ways of working together. A well-structured programme, with a series of progressively complex exercises will help individuals become more comfortable engaging in creative solutions to problems.

Actively engaging in creative problem solving

It is important that individuals share their ideas and values within a team environment and going forward individualism should not be knocked out of people. A group of individuals who are passionate and enthusiastic, sharing varying ideas and approaches to solving problems is really powerful.

Encouraging reflection

We are born with an imagination – observe children at play to remind yourself – and as we become adults most of us learn to be uncreative. We set ground rules and barriers that limit our imagination, we struggle to see how to improve things, commonly because we do not give ourselves quality time to reflect.

Being in a new and inspiring environment and working together to take on challenges, gives an opportunity to explore the value of reflection. People can learn by doing and taking time to reflect and discuss what they could perhaps have done differently. This can lead to some exceptionally creative solutions.

“Taking time out to reflect is an important habit”

If you feel that a lack of creative thinking is causing personal or corporate stagnation and lack of development, I’d encourage you to look outdoors. Contact us at Lindley to explore how carefully designed time together in an inspiring setting can lead to re-discovery of imagination and creativity and result in significantly more productive individuals and teams.

Author: Mark Williams