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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Does Your Organization Allow Trial and Error

Organizations (corporate and academic) need to encourage trial and error. Trial and error is how break-through innovations are created and the way many of the gamer generation have been taught to learn.

Gamers are used to making a mistake or failing, but they don't see this as a major problem. They call the concept "failing forward fast." This means that they gain incremental knowledge through repeated failure. A mistake in a video game is not the end, it is just another chance to figure out the problem and try something else. And a really BIG mistake is just a chance to play the entire game over again.

Consequentially, it is important that gamers have an opportunity to try out new ideas and concepts in working and learning environments. They should be encouraged to try various ideas, approaches and techniques to see what happens.

Organizations, teachers and managers should not view failure as an absolute. In fact, encouraging trial and error encourages entrepreneurial activities (and every successful entrepreneur has at least one story of failure.) Organizations that embrace the gamers' experience in overcoming failure will be successful.

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