Our family is quite musical. We all sing. My wife and I met in choir. Our oldest daughter begins her piano performance major in the fall. Our second oldest daughter is a crazy good flutist (proud papa reference: check out her beatboxing flute). My oldest son recently started percussion lessons. So, it should come as no surprise that when my daughter determined her science fair project, she chose a topic relating to music.
As with any science experiment, my daughter asked a question and created a hypothesis. After determining her study population, she surveyed each subject, conducted a practical exercise, then compiled the data.
To her initial confusion, the data didn’t support her hypothesis. As a parent, I was thrilled! So many life lessons can be taught when we experience failure! She was tempted to force the data to match the original hypothesis, but after working with her, walking through the logic the data presented, she chose to accept that her original hypothesis was simply incorrect. Once she moved past the fear of a poor grade, she became excited about working with the data to discover a hypothesis and eventual theory to her original question.
We at Domo are undertaking an innovative social experiment we affectionately call #domosocial. All employees are exploring different social services, first, to be conversant in the experiences and technologies, and second, to explore how social engagement impacts product development, organizational dynamics, and brand management. Even in the first few days of our 8 week experiment, it appears some of the initial hypotheses were incorrect. Far from being chagrined, we’re thrilled! This is an experiment, after all; we’ll change the hypothesis or perhaps the question and try again.
I’ve reflected on this optimistic, empowering perspective. What if society adopted this approach to “failure”? How would it change our workplaces? How would it change our education? Politics? Families? How would it change me as a parent, an employee, or member of my community? As long as we learn from our failures, our failures can and should be exciting doorways to opportunities. That would be music to all ears.