Prepare to be wrong
Learn from the imperfections in your initial plan to get better.
Do This Now
- Plan reviews / assessments to see what is going well, what isn’t, and what ought to change for each of your habits.
- Create structured practice opportunities to increase your competence and ensure you have everything you need in advance (as applicable).
- Use your accountability partners, role models, and social support to provide you with external perspective and look past your blind spots.
- Leverage this experimentation mindset to mitigate any perfectionist tendencies and take good action now. As General George S. Patton, Jr. once said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
- Write down your moments of failure along the way. The experience of failing gives us crucial information that will ensure victory the next time around.
- Choi, James J., et al. “Reinforcement learning and savings behavior.” The Journal of finance 64.6 (2009): 2515-2534.
- Individuals over-extrapolate from their personal experience when making decisions.
- Cannon, Mark D., and Amy C. Edmondson. “Failing to learn and learning to fail (intelligently): How great organizations put failure to work to innovate and improve.” Long Range Planning 38.3 (2005): 299-319.
- Organizations are widely encouraged to learn from their failures, but it is something most find easier to espouse than to effect. This article synthesizes the authors’ wide research in this field to offer a strategy for achieving the objective. Their framework relates technical and social barriers to three key activities – identifying failure, analyzing failure and deliberate experimentation – to develop six recommendations for action.
- Burleson, Winslow, and R. W. Picard. “Affective agents: Sustaining motivation to learn through failure and a state of stuck.” Workshop on Social and Emotional Intelligence in Learning Environments. 2004.
- This paper describes work in progress exploring how characteristics of affective agents can influence perseverance in the face of failure.
- Holroyd, Clay B., and Michael GH Coles. “The neural basis of human error processing: reinforcement learning, dopamine, and the error-related negativity.” Psychological review 109.4 (2002): 679.
- The existence of an error-processing system has been inferred from the error-related negativity (ERN), a component of the event-related brain potential elicited when human participants commit errors in reaction-time tasks.
- Argyris, Chris. “Double‐Loop Learning.” Wiley Encyclopedia of Management (2000).
- Learning occurs whenever errors are detected and corrected. An error is any mismatch between intentions and actual consequences.
- Ohlsson, Stellan. “Learning from error and the design of task environments.” International Journal of Educational Research 25.5 (1996): 419-448.
- Errors constitute a major source of information for the learner while practising an unfamiliar task.