February Roundup–Risk and Failure in Quality and Science

“It is interesting how the February ASQ Influential Voices topic has moved from addressing the fear of failure to the discussion of managing risk,” writes blogger Scott Rutherford in his second blog topic addressing failure.

What started as a discussion about teens’ fear of risk and failure—as noted by a recent ASQ survey—turned into a conversation about how quality professionals manage risk. I would expect nothing less of ASQ’s Influential Voices bloggers. After all, as John Hunter, notes: “Taking risks is good, blithely accepting failure is not.”

Both Guy Wallace (“risk—but verify”) and Anshuman Tiwari (psychology behind risk-taking) wrote about risk management. Cesar Diaz Guevara looked to ISO 31000: Risk Management, Guidelines and Principles in his discussion.

Other Influential Voices wrote about the value of failure to personal development and making the most of one’s failures.

Take a look.

Tim McMahon writes about how to get back up after a failure—and absorb important lessons. John Priebe also writes about the value of failing—especially failing fast. Aimee Siegler writes about the lessons her children are learning about taking risks in their gymnastics training.

Jimena Calfa blogs about how failing an important exam taught her to succeed in the long term. Scott Rutherford also discusses professional missteps—that eventually helped him become a better quality professional and teacher. Dr. Manu Vora remembers how taking risk helped him in his career. Bob Mitchell write about the use of EMV decision trees in helping to minimize risk (which, like failure, is not inherently bad). This is a great exercise for a potential STEM student, he says.

It’s tempting to avoid and cover up failures. Jennifer Stepniowski talks about owning failure. Dan Zrymiak offers a “Pick up the SLACK” approach to failure, which stands for “Summary, Lessons Learned, Action, Commitment, and Knowledge Base.”

Dr. Robert Burney writes a playful post about the different kinds of failure. He notes that failure and success aren’t black-and-white, mutually exclusive issues.

Rajan Thiaygarajan remembers the missteps–and subsequent successes–of Apple’s Steve Jobs. Dr. Lotto Lai themes his post around the ancient Chinese proverb, “Failure is the Mother of Invention.”

Dr. Michael Noble questions the results of the survey that inspired this topic—can we really deduce that teens avoid failure? He also offers some thoughts on risk, failure, and the connection to quality.

And speaking of STEM, Don Brecken blogs about developing kids’ interest in STEM careers, as does Nicole Radziwill, who highlights a program developed to get kids excited about STEM—and maybe take some risks.

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