UCT in Action

Making a Difference Together

Failure IS An Option

Posted on Apr 18, 2013 by: UCT

I just spent 4 days in the lovely town of Minneapolis at the Non-Profit Technology Conference (NTC) and experienced a life changing moment during the opening session led by Beth Kanter on the last day.  I learned that FAILURE IS AN OPTION! Not only is it an option, but it is inevitable, powerful, perhaps even enviable, and it can change your organization and yourself for the BETTER! Let me share how powerful failure can be in just 5 easy steps…


  1. Take a Risk – Failure doesn’t happen to people who area timid, risk-averse and who maintain the status quo. Failure involves taking an initial risk by trying something new…a new process, new product or new idea. Don’t be afraid to move forward and try something new!
  2. Experience Failure – So you took a risk and you failed. But the best part is that you actually took a risk! Without risk and failure we would be without amazing, life-changing products such as Penicillin, the slinky and post-it notes! Don’t believe me? Check out this article on Business Insider.   
  3. Debrief and LEARN from your experience – Failure isn’t really failure unless we don’t learn from it. Every moment of failure is actually a learning opportunity that can help us move forward with more determination, and better information to make good decisions and take better risks.
  4. Resolve NOT to fail in the same way again and take new risks – It’s been said that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” This couldn’t be more true – especially when the “same thing” you experience is failure. Once you fail – make 100% sure that you will never fail in the exact same way again.
  5. Share your failures with others…be transparent…and help them learn from your mistakes – Once you take the time and energy to fail, don’t be shy with your experience – shout it to the world! Not only will you help others avoid the same failures that you experienced, but you might inspire someone to find a better way to the end goal, which could help you in the long run! If you or your organization has a great failure story to share, post it to #npfail_story by April 30th for your chance to win a Microsoft Surface Tablet from the Case Foundation.   

We want to hear from you! Let us know how you’ve failed in the past and what you’ve learned from your experience!

Posted in: Featured
Find an Agent