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Winning and losing

Is “winning” always a good thing? Here we discuss the benefits of failure.

We’ve been having a discussion about ‘winning” and “not winning”. What does it look like in your business, school or community?   How do you respond when things don’t quite work out.

Sometimes it is not about competition – for some public sector organisations “not winning” maybe a downgrade in the audit or not achieving key goals.  For the last five years schools in Welwyn Hatfield compete in the Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge.   This year there was a prize for the overall winner.  The winning team didn’t raise most money from fundraising.  Neither did they have the best prepared presentation. It was the grit and determination of the team to succeed – at times in spite of the School hierarchy – that convinced the judges.

In a very real sense all of the teams that took part won.   Our latest video, shows some of the lessons that the young people took from their involvement with the Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge.

The message from our business judges was that in business, winning and losing are regular occurrences and cannot be disguised from the future workforce. Here at Red Potato we’ve had more than our share of failures, which have at times translated into costly financial losses and more importantly repetitional damage. Those failures were not comfortable but they have become deeply seared into the organisation. We have learnt from those failures to improve processes and procedures so the mistakes are not repeated. That is the very uncomfortable truth about failure: it can be a very powerful force that drives you to improve. Maybe Young People need to fail more in order to find their real success.