3 signs that Trump might be “failing quickly” rather than “failing fast”

Written by Neela B

Marketing professor and expert in neuroeconomics Baba Shiv has said that that failure is another mother of invention, while Astro Teller of Google X actively rewards failure.

As a business approach, “failing fast” is about doing over doubting, about trying things out rather than second-guessing every possible outcome.

Is Trump a master of failing fast? There has been his ram-raid attempt to repeal Obamacare, his rushed immigration orders, and his off-the-cuff approach to Syria. Trump certainly looks to be prioritising speed-of-action over considered rolling-out of policy.

But if failing fast is indeed his administration’s policy, here are 3 ways the President might be undermining his own efforts:

  1. In the workplace, one of the supposed benefits of a fast-fail approach is that it shifts focus away from blame culture – which in turn promotes innovation. Time will tell whether the Trump administration is a friend to innovation. But it’s probably fair to say that the President is not averse to blaming!
  2. Avoiding a blame culture also means avoiding the concealment of errors. We have seen time and again that Trump is not inclined to hold his hands up when called out on something: see the way he stuck to his guns over the wiretapping claim. And, as we know, building a culture starts at the top.
  3. Does the White House have a system of error reporting? It seems unlikely that messing up is encouraged and even less likely that it would be rewarded. Of course, politics and business are different worlds in many ways but Trump’s approach, as we saw during the election campaign, seems often to come straight from the locker room – and that’s a place where thinking positively about failure simply doesn’t happen.

About the author

Neela B