Illustration: Dialogue

Where does failure fit?

Much of the Executive Development Group’s work focuses on the development of emotional intelligence and learning leadership.

Emotional intelligence is key to the interpersonal workings of the organization. Without it, a business might not weather its day to day tasks and transactions and individual executives can derail. Learning leadership propels the organization forward for greater competitive advantage. Learning leaders thrive on experimentation and exploration, often in environments of ambiguity and uncertainty.

So when the Duke Corporate Education journal, Dialogue, contacted us about its Focus feature on ambidextrous organizations we were thrilled to have Randy White team up with his fellow TRIUM professors Hervé Coyco, Roger Hollowell and Mary Logan for a contributing article.

It’s all about failure. The acceptable variety.

Organizations that understand the value of failure tend to have executives who invite collaboration and inspire creative solutions. The ability to get this done is a function of emotional intelligence—trying not to say “no” to new ideas in a way that empowers people, while protecting the bottom line interests of the company; sharing credit as easily as taking responsibility for mistakes; and, overall, creating a safe environment for learning.

Testing ideas and approaches that might be wrong demands a high tolerance for ambiguity and the uncertainty that comes with it, along with a healthy curiosity to imagine new possibilities—the essence of learning leadership.

The article “The Failure Gateway” offers a short primer on how organizations can make acceptable failure part of their culture. Read it here.