Sunday, December 18, 2005

Brilliant Failures

Meredith, the blogging librarian from Vermont has posted a worth while read - Brilliant Failures - reflecting on her experiences trying to impliment web 2.0 technologies in her workplace.
I’m definitely more cautious now about trying new things. In my excitement to make a difference and in a climate where I was basically given carte blanche, I think I tried to do too much too quickly. Now I know that just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I’m only going to try things where there is a real need (and not one only I see) and where the population is ready for what I’m trying to offer them.
Meredith is lucky to have a boss who will let her try out these things, and even let her blog her reflections on successes and failures.

Doug Johnson pointed me to Meredith, with his own post on learning from failures.

I'm still thinking about my failures, or too busy setting myself up for the next one. For me, reflecting on failures is a deep hole, as I never feel satisfied with the reasons or ideas popping out of them. But reading Meredith and Doug's posts has helped me out a bit...

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Michael said...

Leigh, what'd'ya mean about reflecting on failures being a deep hole for you?... something you step over, or something you fall down and can't get out of?

I certainly tend towards the latter... and find it hard to get up again... which is prob. why i'm soo cautious.

Leigh Blackall said...

Yep, something I can see myself falling into, so I step over it - or walk away to be more apt.

The cause and effects are never finite and so thinking about them in relation to failure is not productive for me.

But reading other's attempts at climbing out of the hole is very helpful for me. "Oi, look at that poor sod climbing out of that! Hey! you! there's a hold just to your right... that's it... now, move your feet... now you've got it..." then thinking to myself "if only I did it that way..."

Michael said...

I certainly learned a lot from that experience you had where the blogger theme you had chosen didn't work in IE, and you were standing up doing a presentation (I wasn't there, but you told me about it). I couldn't get over how positively you looked at the situation... I would have felt like thowing the towel in... made me realise that it's heaps more helpful not to dwell on failures too much...

... and i've been putting that into practise since, so thanks :)

Leigh Blackall said...

Interesting what you remember.. I'd forgotten all about that one. And its the forgettable ones that I can easily walk away from, but ones like losing a job are much harder to escape, so down the hole I go... looking at everything along the way. Recently I sat for an interview and they asked me if I learnt anything from that failure... I was struck. Was I meant to have learnt something from that? "Sure" I said, "there are plenty of arse hole bosses in this world..."

I didn't get that job, I don't think I would have wanted it either.

This might sound like I don't/can't reflect on things. I think that is certainly the case when things get personal. Emotions just cloud everything. That's probably why it easier to learn from other's mistakes. That's one reason why open and frank blogging is so great for me.

Michael said...

So imagine that you were sitting an interview for your perfect job, one that you really really wanted, and were asked the same question... how would you answer it? Would you give the same answer?

...and if you want to come over and chat about it instead, i'm home :)