Fast Failure in Psychotherapy and Psychiatric Businesses
January 27, 2012
I’m in my office listening to a podcast from The Cambridge Judge Business School. Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn is the speaker/interviewee in the segment I am just now finishing. He introduced, to me, the concept of “Fast Failure” in starting new ventures.
The idea is that you want a new project to fail quickly. That gives you good feedback regarding its viability. Mr. Hoffman mentioned that when he worked at PayPal, innovators were rewarded for failing quickly.
No one likes to fail. We in the helping professions certainly don’t want to fail. But this is a very useful concept for both the business and clinical parts of our practices.
I am in the process of launching two promotional projects, one for my private practice and the other for my new consulting business. I will pay careful attention to the response to both. The most recent clinical campaign was a success, yielding several new clinician colleague contacts and a stream of new referrals. The one before was a failure. The changes I made, I assume, account for the difference.
Another point that is stressed in this series of podcasts is the importance of persistence. The path of a successful entrepreneur is never linear. There are always disappointments, failures, and false steps. The point is to learn from them and to carry on.
Finally, this is a crucial concept to keep in mind in our clinical work. In the past two days I have seen two new patients who had been treated unsuccessfully by their previous clinicians. Both these unsuccessful treatments had gone on for a long time, years in both cases. Had the clinicians been more comfortable with recognizing their failures, a different course of treatment would have been recommended. At least we would hope.
Are you OK with failure? Please share your thoughts in the comment section via the “Leave a Comment” link at the top of this post..