Failure is learning

03 – Learn to Fail | Principles of Lean


Lean methodology has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. One of the key benefits of using a lean approach is the ability to fail fast and learn faster. By embracing failure as an opportunity to learn and improve, lean organizations are able to continuously experiment and iterate until they find the best solution to a problem. This approach not only helps teams to be more productive, but it also fosters a culture of innovation and creativity. By focusing on what works and what doesn't, lean teams are able to make better decisions, and ultimately, deliver better products and services to their customers.

Don't stigmitise failure - treat it as an opportunity to learn

Learn to Fail


All too often organisations who are trying to change and develop new ways of working do not succeed as their people are so scared of failure. Learning to see failure as an opportunity to learn underpins the continuous improvement journey as learning what doesn’t work is just as important as learning what does.

Lean is about identify and generating greater customer value so learning what doesn’t add value (muda) is another step towards creating greater value. But we must be willing to learn, share those learnings and work hard to not repeat the same errors.

Lean Principles


Often after a massive mistake, people write up their “lessons learnt” but these do not become institutionalised into the learning structures of the future. The lessons learnt are not centralised for future leaders so the risk is that the same mistake happens again – and this is waste…

So we have to create an organisation that accepts failures but one that is able to  share these learnings today, but also provide a playbook for future generations.

Learning with A3 Problem Solving


This is one of the reasons the A3 Problem Solving approach is such a powerful tool. It is not just to document improvements and help communicate the change today, but when stored and well maintained, they provide a library of learnings for future generations.

Lean helps us to Learn Fast


earning through failure is an important concept in Lean. In life, we often face problems and challenges that seem daunting at first, but when we apply the Lean methodology of trial and error, we are better equipped to tackle them. With each failed attempt, it is not just about getting it right on the first try, but how quickly can we learn from the mistake and make adjustments to ensure success. Through this process of constant experimentation, we become more knowledgeable and are able to grow in our abilities.

The Lean philosophy also encourages us to take risks, even if they may not lead to immediate success at first. This willingness to explore different solutions will help us gain valuable insight into how we can solve problems more effectively in the future. It is important to remember that failure is just part of the process, and it should not stop us from taking chances or trying new things. Instead, use each opportunity as a learning experience so you can move forward with greater confidence.

By applying Lean thinking, individuals can avoid getting stuck in one place for too long and instead keep moving towards their goals. When problems arise, instead of getting discouraged, take the chance to learn from failure and look for innovative solutions to push your ideas further. With dedication and hard work, you can use Lean principles to create success in whatever you do.

The key is to never give up — no matter how difficult something appears — and always strive for improvement by learning from what didn’t work before. This way, you will be able to tackle any challenge that comes your way with confidence and continue on the path towards success.

The best part about applying the Lean approach is that it doesn’t just help us become better problem-solvers; it also helps us cultivate resilience in order to stay motivated when obstacles appear. By embracing mistakes and learning from them, you can maintain a positive attitude and go forward with greater determination. With the right mindset, there is nothing that cannot be achieved!

The Lean philosophy is based on the idea of progress through failure. Learning from mistakes, taking risks, and never giving up are all essential components of this approach, which when applied correctly can lead to great success in anything we do. So remember: There will always be challenges along the way, but with the right mindset and a little perseverance, you can use these opportunities to make your dreams a reality.

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Reagan Pannell

Reagan Pannell is a highly accomplished professional with 15 years of experience in building lean management programs for corporate companies. With his expertise in strategy execution, he has established himself as a trusted advisor for numerous organisations seeking to improve their operational efficiency.

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