10/2/15 - Normalizing Failure Since 2011
A former professor of mine whom I respect a great deal and I talked about the concept normalizing failure at great lengths and I immediately recognized it in our own practices. This is a concept that she’s studied and observed in organizations at the doctoral level, and it just so happens to be of extreme value in organizations.
Luckily, we began fostering since our inception in the ‘Fake Gym’ days.
At first glance, ‘normalization of failure,’ sounds like a bad thing. It couldn’t be further from it, however. The concept describes a cultural openness to failure that allows for creativity, growth mindset, and evolution.
My professor friend spoke of organizations that have failed to normalize failure and have to navigate an organizational culture that demeans trying and failing. It shuns creativity. It also inadvertently fosters a fixed mindset and can even crush productivity. Surely, growth is stunted and the general environment is ruthless.
In a contrasting example of a competitor design firm that had normalized failure, employees were able to churn out exponentially more ideas, accept without judgment that not all were winners, and continue to present innovative work. Furthermore, employees were thrilled at the chance to be creative and “see what sticks” in an healthy work environment.
Here we must buy into the language that we repeat on a daily and weekly basis of practice and skill acquisition in the gym. If, in your mind, DEUCE Gym is a place to show off how fit you are, it’d surely miss the point of the coaching and wouldn’t be enjoyable for anyone other than the fittest in the room. That’s why we’re a school; a place to come learn. That’s why we practice failure openly.
I strongly dislike most gym experiences, but if there ever was a place that normalized failure, it’s here at 110 Lincoln. You’ll always have the freedom to try anything here openly.
Complete the following for time:
30 Snatches (135/95)