Failing Fast and Often

By Patrick McNerthney 

In the course of writing stuff I end up meeting and/or working with a lot of business-y types. Most of the time our relationship involves me trying to figure out what they heck they’re talking about—including deciphering acronyms and jargon—while discouraging the idea that we need to schedule another VIBM (Very Important Business Meeting).

VIBM’s just kill me. It doesn’t matter if they’re in-person or on Zoom. Even if the thing is actually relevant or even vital–once it starts, I’m instantly steeped in deep, cottony boredom. 

Business-y types are a singular lot. I’ve concluded the source of all their idiosyncrasies is a workplace cultural phenomenon called Not Trying Hard Enough. It works like this—once people start working for an organization larger than say 12 people and an intern, their brains shift and maintain constant focus on making sure they don’t lose their jobs. So if they don’t try hard enough in the form of:

  • Avoiding  risks at any cost
  • Never failing
  • Hiding their fear of being imposters
  • Relentlessly avoiding new ways of doing things
  • Behaving as though they always feel confident

…they get rewarded (check this out) with the belief that “everything will be all right.” A.k.a. “I won’t get fired.”

(Oh now come on that’s just crazy risky. But you gotta admit, cool.)

I should know, I’ve been that person. And your job is nothing to scoff at — they make your world go round. Who wants to try HARD, RISKY new things to solve a problem anyway? We could lose employment, and just as bad, embarrass ourselves in the process.

However, you’ll notice that times are changing. Every industry is imperfect and fraught with problems, which I won’t list here. BUT, some of the most successful companies nowadays have turned the process inside out.  They purposefully fight the phenomenon of Not Trying Hard Enough by rewarding employees who try new things, and subsequently fail fast and often

Apple, Tesla, Rivian, SpaceX, Nike, Pixar — these organizations know the only way to learn is to make mistakes. Rather than make people fear losing their jobs, they actually encourage people to fear NOT FAILING.

(Well there it is in plain English.)

And ironically, this is another reason you need to partner with Fine Art Miracles (FAM).  They’ve been around since 2007, making their mistakes and learning volumes in the process. FAM isn’t suggesting you use creative expression as a tool to support your residents and loved ones as they battle social isolation because it WON’T WORK–no way!  They’re saying, talk to us, work with us and  we’ll share some magical lessons we’ve learned. 

FAM knows Art Therapy, Drumming and Exercise Therapy, Music Therapy, Art2Go packages, and Multi-Sensory Sessions connect those you care for with feelings of confidence, mastery, high self-worth, joy, and the understanding that they still MATTER to their friends, family, and the world. 

Thus, FAM knows you’ll be off-the-charts successful helping the elderly, children with challenges, and those needing help with life’s routine tasks. See, the bottom line is, trying new things is scary. Which is why you should reach out with your questions and concerns. FAM is a nice bunch, trust me—they’re happy to talk you through it. 

As for me, I still have to remind myself to take my own advice every day! The good news is making mistakes/failing comes quite naturally to me, so all I really have to do is pick up the pace!



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