Updated: Jan 8
When leading a business, efforts are typically made with success in mind. Decision-making is informed by high hopes, positivity, and the determination to grow. Sure, failure is seemingly inevitable, but that’s what helps us grow — just keep looking forward, keep the foot on the neck, have urgency all the time, and try, try again, right? Not exactly. This kind of tunnelled thinking could actually be the downfall of your people and, thus, your company.
When you treat failure like it’s bound to happen and focus all of your energy toward success, you risk cementing that fate through death by a thousand paper cuts, or worse, a big catastrophic avoidable surprise. Sustainable success comes from facing failure instead of running from it.
Curious how you can #beatfailure? Read on.
living the failure culture
Our team at Butchershop® Global, a growth and transformation company, is focusing on how we will Beat Failure™ in 2023 and beyond – for ourselves, our client partners and our industry. We’re not working backwards here. Instead of wondering what it will take to achieve success, we’re asking ourselves the one question that really matters… “What will cause our company to fail?”
This process may seem counterintuitive, but we’ve been practicing it for years and the proof is in the pudding. Over the past 18 months, Butchershop has: acquired digital powerhouse Maniak, opened an office in Vienna, Austria to better serve the DACH market, announced its venture group, Imaginedby®, increased headcount by 275%, and introduced several new Associate Partners. When we’re not busy with client work, we’re working on Equity for Equality, a program we launched in 2020 that has raised over $200,000 for arts and education in BIPOC communities.
2022 ushered in a wave of firsts, but we’re eyeing 2023 to be our most successful year to date. Here is our three steps of how you can #beatfailure too:
1. Build Awareness
The first step is to seek clarity within and amongst teams. Don’t let miscommunication be what’s bringing you down in 2023 – allow each department within your company to brainstorm what would cause them to fail in the new year. Next, exchange these failure points across departments. Not only will this increase exposure among different teams, but it will also flag challenges occurring within multiple departments as structural issues necessitating executive attention.
2. Turn Pain Points into Priorities
By tracking possible points of failure, your office is instantly creating a roadmap of priorities to focus on. Any hindsight you’d gain in the future will become foresight for the present.
For Butchershop, alignment was a key concern during the pandemic – especially as we ventured out of our home offices throughout North America and Europe and into Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for our inaugural work-summit, La Creme. The trip called for a massive Beat Failure session as 100+ of our team members came together for three days of growth. We emerged from our summit having expressed our concerns honestly and openly. We returned to our home offices with individual next steps in mind, knowing what it would take to work towards our company’s overall vision. We repeated this process in November, hosting our first La Creme Leadership Summit in Vienna, Austria. Here, we asked our 25+ department leads to present their initiatives for the next year through the same lens: what would cause their unit to fail in 2023? The outcome is a prescriptive roadmap for where our focus needs to be over the next 12 months.
3. Let Failure Guide You
Take this failure methodology with you in 2023 and run with it. We’ve Beat Failure within our hiring strategy, onboarding processes, new project planning and important moments of decision making by asking ourselves what would cause us to fail.
And this isn’t simply an internal process, but a methodology, mindset and set of tools we’ve successfully implemented to align with our clients. After all, trust is what potential clients look for in partnerships. Uncovering potential points of failure allows us to better understand our client partner needs and offer realistic solutions. Creating strategies for success is great, but how do you know that strategy is effective if you don’t consider possible problems? Without acknowledging the chance of failure, how do you define the right methods to achieve your goals? The antidote to this uncertainty is clarity.
The Beat Failure methodology isn’t just a once a year strategy. You’ll find yourself coming back to it time and time again. Nevertheless, you won’t want to miss this opportunity for growth once the new year rolls around.
Check out another blog post by Nina: introducing a tool to help you beat failure
about the contributors
Nina Mueller and Butchershop have turned an unwavering emphasis on clarity into the Beat Failure™ methodology, helping leaders steer through the challenges of inflection points ᠆ whether they be at a moment of growth, scale, evolution, transformation or launch. Thereby, Nina has worked with some of the world’s most successful brands, ranging from early and late stage startups to Fortune 500 companies.
Butchershop® Global is a growth and transformation company born and raised in Silicon Valley with offices in San Francisco, Vienna, and Guadalajara. The company connects consulting, creativity and technology to help brands break into emerging markets or break out to lead them.