Is Failure an Option? An interview with Ralph Heath, author of Celebrating Failure
OK, here's the situation....
You're the security guard at a data center, giving a new security guard a tour of the facility. Near the end of the tour you point to a button on the wall. The button is labeled "Do Not Push". While looking back at the new guard you remark, "See this button? Make sure you never pu...."Oops. You accidentally push the button.What happens?
I'll tell you what happens. Lights out. Systems go dead—immediately. No nice shutdown. You turn pale—you know this isn't good.There's more to the story
. The systems people can't get the servers restarted right away. When they do, there are problems with the network. Your company is unable to process transactions.... not for 1 hour. Not for 2 hours. It's not until 15 hours later that transactions are flowing through the system.Sound scary? This isn't a made up story. It actually happened.
Thankfully, you're not in it. But let's say you were... When you get called into the bosses' office, what do you expect them to say?
What are the odds you'd hear them say, "Kelly, get in here. I want to thank you for helping us see how incomplete our disaster recovery plans were. If it wasn't for you, we would have gone on, maybe for years, falsely thinking we had everything buttoned up. You also helped us learn that our shutdown button is too accessible. We'll put together plans to fix that. Kelly, from all of us in senior management, thank you very much!"Not likely? You're right.
In fact, in the real world version of this story, the accidental button-pushing security guard got fired. Enough money was lost that management decided "Someone must die! We need flesh!"Was this the best way to respond?
Though normal, does it fix the problem by firing the guard? My guess is the new guy never pressed the button!
But did it really fix things? Or did it just assign blame.Ralph Heath
is the author of Celebrating Failure: The Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes and Thinking Big
. Just the name of the book made me want to interview Ralph! How often do you hear Celebrate
in the same sentence?When things go wrong--even in a big way--what's a leader to do?
Can we really celebrate failure without creating a culture of complacence? Could the way we react--such as firing someone in the name of accountability--actually create additional dysfunction?
These are issues that Ralph wrestles with in his book. I look forward to your feedback on the interview with Ralph in this episode.So, what are you thankful for?
Many countries celebrate a holiday similar to Thanksgiving, which is observed this month in the United States.
Each year there is research that reinforces that being thankful--having a spirit of gratitude--has enormous benefits, from helping you be happier to even living longer.How about going on record with what you're thankful for this year? This year we're opening up the phone lines for you!
Regardless of where you live, whether in the U.S. or abroad,
just call us at (847) 579-9174. Leave your name (first name only is fine) and where you live, then tell us what you're thankful for this year. We'll include your contribution in our People and Projects Podcast episode that will come out the week of Thanksgiving
.It's not too difficult to find things to be upset or worried about these days
. So let's hear from you what you're thankful for! Call us toll-free at (866) 884-5323 and tell the world what you're thankful for!Everyone who participates by Friday, November 20, gets a free 30-day license to my e-learning module on risk management. It's my way of saying.... Thanks! IMPORTANT: If you want the e-learning license, make sure to leave your e-mail address in the message as well.
We will edit out the e-mail address so it doesn't show up in the podcast but will use it to give you the free access to the e-learning.
It only takes a minute! Give me a call toll-free at (866) 884-5323 to participate! Enjoy the podcast!Is Failure an Option? An interview with Ralph Heath, author of Celebrating Failure
Labels: conflict, failure, leadership, podcast, risk management, thankfulness, World of Thanks
posted by Andy at 11:37 PM