New Motto for Project Failure: Keep Moving Forward!

Posted by in Blogs, Raechel Logan: The Team Member Advocate

Meet the Robinsons"Nothing encourages creativity like the chance to fall flat on one’s face."
-James D. Finley

Last night I watched the Disney movie, "Meet the Robinsons," for the first time since it came out in 2007. It’s a comedic, A.D.D. sort of film – perfect for those of us with short attention spans (uh hem, guilty!) with a great message that just happens to be applicable to project management (surprise!).

One of the central themes of the movie is the Robinson family motto to "keep moving forward". The main character in the film is Lewis, a twelve year old orphan who spends the majority of his time inventing things that almost always turn out to be failures. When he finally decides that he’s no good and gives up, he meets the Robinson family; a quirky family of inventors who teach him the motto "keep moving forward." 

One member of the Robinson family even says, "It’s great that you failed! From failure you learn; from success not so much."

So, I was thinking… we all know that projects can be risky things. And there’s a depressing statistic somewhere that says that seventy-odd percent of projects fail. Now, I’m of course not saying that we should ever strive for failure. We should always strive for the best results. However, it’s easy to let ourselves get down like Lewis when we fail. The trick is to "keep moving forward".

Keep Moving Forward!

As a project manager or even as an individual contributor to a project team, we give ourselves powerful tools that facilitate great career growth when we learn from our failures and "keep moving forward" each time. It’s just as James D. Finley said in the quote at the beginning of this post – failure often encourages creativity and from that creativity we can find new ways to solve problems, which will eventually lead to success (and more success).

I call that progress; and progress is always a good thing.