Productive failure is when an organization initiates a change and fails, but they learn from this failure. So, it becomes productive and then moving forward they are able to implement the lessons that they learned into the organization. “”Marks and Shaw also argue that an organization may gain more in the long term from a productive failure than from an “unproductive success”—a change that has gone well, but nobody quite knows why: “We must be doing something right.”” (Palmer, 2017, pg 359). A productive failure is way more productive then a success where they do not learn anything at all. This is because when different circumstances arise they are able to use the lessons learned to be able to pivot when needed for the organization. There was a time where when I was an employee for an organization, the managers at my retail location tried to implement a new process of how we interacted with customers. The change process failed and that was due to the way that they were communicating it to the employees and the teams buy in. Nobody was struggling with customers and we were one of the best stores in the company. So, why would we change something that is currently working for us. They took the feedback and was able to learn from it for moving forward. As this might be the same reason why some organizations fail and become stronger because they can take the lesson that they have learned and be able to implement that into the next change.
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2017). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (3rd ed.). Retrieved from https://redshelf.com/
Productive failures are failures which provide learning. Failures are often treated as stepping stones to success since it is the failures who teach us what we must or must not do.
In my organization, we encountered a failure in terms of the delivery of a project. We failed to deliver it on time. As a result, it caused dissatisfaction in the customer and our future business relationship was questioned. However, we analyzed the failure points during a meetings and conversations after we missed the deadline.
There was a problem in the production, where some work had to be redone in the middle of the project. This cost a loss of time as well as increased the cost of the materials and labor.
As a result, changes had to be implemented. The design engineer was told to implement change in the process of the creation of the end product. While working on making changes with the process, it was also discovered that the production staff was also struggling with the machine. They simply lacked better training. A new training was to be created as well, which ensured production staff were confident in operating the equipment. Which would lead to less production times.
We noticed that not all organizations succeed to utilize the opportunity of productive failures. The reason being acceptability and the correct analysis of the problem. Not all organizations have these capabilities and hence face repetitive problems.