IT GovernanceRisk Management

Product Managers Need To Learn How To Fail

This post from the Accidental Product Manager lends some scientific light on why some managers refuse to fail, but how failure can actually lend itself to a better understanding of an issue or risks, making it more manageable in the future and making the manager a stronger resource for their team and the company. The post uses the findings of Jonah Lehrer to explain how people (generally) fit into two categories, Fixed Mindset (people who think they are as good as they are going to get whenever doing work, such as management) and with Growth Mindset (people who think they can always get better at something): Product managers who surround themselves with people who are always telling them how smart they are seem to fall into the fixed mindset camp. However, those of us who surround ourselves with people who complement us on our individual efforts fall into the growth mindset camp. Being recognized for individual accomplishments seems to make a product manager want to understand why they’ve failed and to do better the next time around. What does this mean for you? If, instead of seeing failure as a complete failure, you train yourself to see it as an opportunity to grow; you’ll be able to not only reduce the possible repetition of that failure, but limit future mistakes and failures for you and your company.

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