Ordinariness of failure and why this is so important

Blog 3This week I had a great conversation with Toby Lindsay. Toby is looking to do a PhD and we were discussing his various options. The subject of Toby’s interest is: why do enterprises fail, using his own vivid experience as a source of the research. Businesses fail every day, it is an ordinary event and one that carries much hurt. However airport bookshops are littered with the stuff of success, heroic stories often ending up with a few insights neatly packaged for the newbie entrepreneur.  Actually, more can be learned from mistakes, particularly when explored in detail as to how people made decisions in the shifting context that they had to cope with. There is very little about entrepreneurial failure, even less that takes the experience seriously from an individual’s view with all the confusion of hurt, sensemaking and recovery that goes on. Failure offers the learning for future success which is why these ordinary and upsetting events are so important. Thanks Toby for allowing me to share our conversation.


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