Failure and Collaborative Intelligence

“Being frightened of being wrong” is how Ken Robinson describes one of our most challenging hang-overs from our ‘education’. I remember well the class room pressure to be ‘right’ even to this day and I left school…umm.. a few years ago. Intuitively we know that being wrong is part of life and that, on reflection, failure is a lot more informative than success. All great sports performers know that one of the chief benefits of practice is the opportunity to ‘safely fail’.

The value of failing forwards has not been lost on scientists and explorers down through the centuries either. Just about every advance in science and art was integrally linked to ‘failure’. The ink leached, the wrong number was used, a mistake was made reading the map. Then something new was discovered.

Teaching our kids the value of doubt, the power of uncertainty and the learning and value of failure will enable them to be more creative and less bound by the known.  This openness in long run will also enable them to grow up and become adults that seek out collaboration rather than compete to see who can be the ‘most right’.