Failure is a Good Thing

Failure…the F-word to some. It is often suggested that we learn from our failures. However, it is often our successes that are celebrated. The question is: Are we truly learning from failure? And do we fear failure too much?

In many cases, the answer is yes…to both questions. While inventing the light bulb, Thomas Edison was famously quoted as saying: “”I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.” How do we embrace failure in a positive way as a learning experience?

This month, Harvard Business Review ( features a series on failure. It provides some good insight on the subject.

HBR: Failing Toward Success (

HBR: Why Leaders Don’t Learn from Success (

Looking back, what have you failed miserably at? Are there examples where you have failed over and over again and eventually got it right?

Hopefully we can push forward to think differently about how to learn from our mistakes, make forward progress and change our paradigm when needed.

Tim Crawford is ranked as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Chief Information Technology Officers (#4), Top 100 Most Social CIOs (#7), Top 20 People Most Retweeted by IT Leaders (#5) and Top 100 Cloud Experts and Influencers. Tim is a strategic CIO & advisor that works with large global enterprise organizations across a number of industries including financial services, healthcare, major airlines and high-tech. Tim’s work differentiates and catapults organizations in transformative ways through the use of technology as a strategic lever. Tim takes a provocative, but pragmatic approach to the intersection of business and technology. Tim is an internationally renowned CIO thought leader including Digital Transformation, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT). Tim has served as CIO and other senior IT roles with global organizations such as Konica Minolta/ All Covered, Stanford University, Knight-Ridder, Philips Electronics and National Semiconductor. Tim is also the host of the CIO In The Know (CIOitk) podcast. CIOitk is a weekly podcast that interviews CIOs on the top issues facing CIOs today. Tim holds an MBA in International Business with Honors from Golden Gate University Ageno School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Golden Gate University.

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