Jim Coplien writes:
> Failure can be your friend. > >
— Blog entry "There is No Failure — Only Feedback," 20111130, on line at http://www.computer.org/portal/web/buildyourcareer/Agile-Careers/-/blogs/there-is-no-failure-%E2%80%94-only-feedback , accessed 20111205.
The very nature of kaizen [dpb: 改善] in Japanese culture is rooted in an introspective state of hansei [dpb: 反省]: of deep reflection and of identifying with the problem. Only then are we truly in a position to understand how we can relate to solving the problem, either by removing its cause, or working with others to do so, or to embark on a program of continuous practice to remove the problem. Also intrinsic to kaizen is that improvement comes not so much from solving the problem, but from going to the next level to remove its very cause. There is lasting value in fixing a software bug. There is broad, lasting value from improving the process to diminish the chances that such kinds of bugs can ever arise again. But we need those bugs, those problems, to trigger the process changes. In that sense we celebrate the opportunity that presents itself when a problem arises, though we soberly assess our place in that system.
Speaking of intentional practice, periodic reflection is a good thing. Explicitly take time to reflect on opportunities to improve — as an individual, a family, a team, or as a corporation. It takes trust and courage, but it builds trust and courage as well. William James said “The error is needed to set off the truth, much as a dark background is required for exhibiting the brightness of a picture.”