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Experience Designers.

What Is Your Team's Risk Culture?

In dealing with the theme of Risk, I often start out my workshops with this pointed question and then quickly follow up with, "A good way to tell is to examine how your team deals with failure." Which of the following best describe your team?

1. Failure is not an option. It is avoided at all costs. If it occurs, it is considered a failure of the person in terms of their abilities, intelligence, or talent. Failure is shamed or hidden if it occurs.

 2. If failure occurs, it is quietly minimized and not discussed for fear of embarrassment or destructive outcomes.

 3. Failure is expected sometimes but not considered a reflection of a person’s abilities, intelligence, or talent. People are encouraged to “shake it off” and bounce back as quickly as possible.

 4. Failure is framed as a necessary learning experience. People are encouraged to think of it as normal and try to gain from it as much as they can, either on their own or through discussion with leaders or peers.

 5. Failure is framed as a valuable learning experience and there are multiple structured ways to adopt a growth mindset, fully utilizing mistakes and negative risk-outcomes designed into the team culture..

Experience Design Leaders learn how to maximize the utility of failures by failing forward. This requires a few things:

  • A growth mindset that sees people for their potential, not just their current capacities;

  • A recognition of set-backs and mistakes and opportunities to learn; and

  • A view of their teams not just as groups of people working together, but as co-created experiences, and you as the leader are the lead designer of those experiences.

What will your experience be?

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