Failing to Succeed

Contrary to typical thinking, failure often paves the road to success. Many people believe that success and failure lie in opposite directions. The road sign to success points one way and the sign to failure points 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Ah, as if it were so easy… that we could spin “about face” when we hit failure to move toward success or that there’d be any easy-to-read signs in the first place! But failure’s not a bad thing. In fact, you should be embracing failure.

The funny thing about failure is that it often parallels success. Looking at our road sign metaphor for the two, the road to success and the road to failure almost always overlap at least for a while. History is full of stories of famous failures and people who reached success by failing. Instead of turning 180 degrees when suffering a setback, they continued plodding ahead until they reached the fork in the road – the place where success and failure finally diverged. Then they followed the path to success.

Consider these well-known stories: Henry Ford went broke five times before he succeeded; Albert Einstein’s teacher described him as “mentally slow” and the University of Bern rejected his Ph.D. dissertation as “irrelevant and fanciful”; Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job for lack of ideas and like Ford, went broke several times before building Disneyland; Louis Pasteur ranked 15 out of 22 in chemistry; Douglas MacArthur was denied admission to West Point twice before being accepted; Babe Ruth, once the record holder for home runs, was also the record holder for strike outs.

In all of these examples, despite apparent failure, these famous folks continued on the path they were originally bushwhacking until they could find the fork in the road and determine which way was the way to success. Babe Ruth’s story drives home the point that the more you fail, the more you increase your chances for success. However, it wasn’t simply a matter of swinging harder at every pitch. The key to greater success was in studying technique. It still holds true today. Baseball swing coaches and golfers review videos, and NFL teams spend every Monday looking at films from the previous game… looking for where things went wrong, so they can make adjustments to improve them. Embracing failure to improve success.

Manufacturing plants should be doing exactly the same thing. Reviewing things that go wrong, not only to fix the process, but to guarantee future success. And it goes further than simply avoiding the repetition of mistakes. While that’s an obvious area for improvement and certainly constitutes “low-hanging fruit” that’s easy to pick, watching and monitoring can also lead to ah-ha moments and revelations about what can be done better. Even baseball’s best hitters and the NFL’s leading teams still watch films. They’re always looking for improvements.

Notice that this type of monitoring happens after the fact, not during the heat of the game. There’s time for cool-headed analysis and no pressure for immediate action. Now, imagine if you could have the chance to “review films” and study ways to expedite your operation at the comfort of your desk or during team meetings. With the MPower system, you can. Our camera systems can also record your operations in addition to real-time monitoring, and our extensive data collection methodology creates in depth analytical reports. Either provides the information you need to have the ah-ha moment that points to the fork in the road and shows you the path to success.

Improve your operational efficiency and learn how the MPower system can provide the information you need to help you convert failures into success.