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Permission to Fail

Almost every business is going through multiple changes at this moment. Some shift to a new segment, others change their marketing strategy or find innovative ways to deliver products and services. Now is the perfect time to try new things and take some risk. An important aspect to be successful is to give yourself permission to fail. This mindset will make sure that you try new approaches which may lead to unexpected success.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal,

it is the courage to continue that counts”

Winston Churchill

Dare to Fail and Act Fast

Embrace change and do not be afraid to make mistakes. If you overanalyze, chances are that the opportunity is already gone by the time you act. In this moment of extreme change, speed is of the essence. Respond quickly to new circumstances and adapt your strategy where it makes sense.  

Take Small Steps and Learn

By taking small steps and building in moments to review your progress, you will prevent taking too big of a risk. Examples of small steps are starting with a prototype, testing a new approach with a small market segment, or launching a new marketing initiative. It is important to learn from those small steps and from the possible mistakes that you will make. Do not strive for perfection, just start, and improve things along the way.

Communicate and Motivate 

Encourage your team to come up with new ideas and to try new things. Ensure that actions are aligned and clearly communicated. Ask your team to signal early on if something is going wrong or if it does not produce the desired results. Jorgen Vig Knudstrop, CEO of Lego, says “Blame is not for failure, it is for failing to help or ask for help”.  And if things are going south, focus on what happened and not on who did it.

Follow Through 

Do not pull the plug too soon if something does not work. Try to find out why things do not work and adjust where needed. Acknowledge that customers sometimes also need some time to adjust.

This is not the moment to wait and see but the time to prepare and act. Nobody knows how the new business environment will look like, only by trying and doing you will find out what works and what does not. And if it is not a big success, at least you will have a better understanding of the market.


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