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Why Didn’t It Work?


We’ve been learning by trial and error since we were six months old when we first noticed the effect of our actions on objects. As children we developed skills by learning from our mistakes, paying attention to what didn’t work as well as to what did.

As adults, we are not so keen to see our failures as an opportunity to learn. We might lament about the product launch that didn’t go to plan. The meeting that didn’t pay off. The idea that flopped. But often instead of asking why, we throw the baby out with the bathwater. And in that moment we overlook the opportunity to learn from our failures.

We didn’t learn to build a sandcastle or ride a bike by giving up and moving onto something new right away. We worked out what we needed to adjust, and we adjusted.

The path to success is progressive and iterative. We get there by being brave enough to ask the hard questions along the way.

Jim Purbrick

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