WHAT TO DO WHEN EVERYTHING GOES WRONG
HOW DO YOU RECOVER FROM FAILURE
BEFORE YOU EVEN BEGIN
1. Know before you start things will go wrong
It may sound a bit negative, but before starting something new, try to risk mitigate by thinking of all the things that are most likely to go wrong.
2. Write a list of any possible mishaps that may happen – What are you relying on external people for? – What is completely out of your control?
3. Commit these scenarios of everything going wrong to paper so you can see what a solution or back up could be before the fact, and also realise that actually, if the worst happens things can be corrected.
4. Plan as well as you can for execution -. Don’t leave anything to chance, plan plan plan as much as you can
WHEN THINGS START GOING WRONG
1. Don’t panic
Panic just makes situations worse. Have you ever seen a small child fall down and then pause before crying? They’re looking around for a cue as to how to react, if you react positivily likely they will see it as no big deal and recover quicker. It’s the same with your team. When things start to go wrong, remain as calm as you can and make sure all comms are awareness but upbeat.
2. Figure out what is actually going wrong – There are some red herrings out there, what you think is the problem could actually be completely off piste! Make sure you get to the root of what is actually going wrong
3. Brainstorm the root cause and take action – Don’t react, act. Think about the best way to get to the root cause and stop anything else going wrong, If there is nothing you can do to course correct, stop what is happening. If you can’t do anything, don’t worry that’s fine! Know when to stop and communicate clearly why to make sure everyone is in the same boat.
AFTER THINGS HAVE GONE WRONG
1. Recalibrate based on the objective of the exercise – After everything has gone wrong, the thing you need to centre everyone around was the objective in the first place. You may just need a reset, there may have been an external issue that was out of your control and will most likely not happen again, but make sure everything comes back and centres on the objective before everything went wrong.
2. Hold a retro to create future learnings to try and avoid recurrence – Failing isn’t really failing, it’s just opportunities for growth. But you don’t grow if you don’t share your learnings. Make sure to set a retro to go through what happened, what the outcome was, and how to not have it happen again.
3. Empower your team to fail and move on – Don’t wallow. Things go wrong, and mistakes happen. The longer you spend thinking about it the worse it gets. Empower your team to know that failure is just a part of growing and no one is going to be angry at accidents.