Learn from Successes and Failures

Celebration Grids

Does your organization appreciate the things you’ve learned? Do you applaud colleagues who do their job well? All too often organizations live day by day, from one crisis to another and they forget to take note of the good things that happen.

But it’s not just about applauding the good things. In work and in life we sometimes succeed and we sometimes fail. What’s important is that whether we have success or failure, we learn from the experiment. This is where most performance management misses the boat and that’s why we created the Celebration Grid to celebrate learning!

I use the Celebration Grid during our retrospectives to motivate the team to experiment more and to improve the planning of each experiment.

THOMAS BAER, scrum master, Siemens

By drawing a Celebration Grid and asking two important questions, we can look to implant good practices into the future of our business.

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Celebration Grids are a visual way to present the outcome of an experiment, whether that experiment has succeeded or failed. It shows us where we can celebrate the good practices, which result from a positive outcome and where we can learn something from our failures.

Celebration Grid

You can see from the diagram the potential areas to celebrate are in green and those colored in gray and red are where we didn’t learn, or have had a positive outcome. Have each person fill out his or her own Celebration Grid and then use it as a basis for discussion, even having noisemakers, cake or champagne to celebrate what you’ve all learned and what experiments and adventures you’ll head toward next!

Celebration Grid Tips

Draw a Celebration Grid on a whiteboard or flip chart so that an entire team can contribute and share learnings.

Get people to interact by handing out sticky notes and getting them to write things on the grid, instead of doing it all yourself.

The grid is a reflection tool, but what about using it as a forecast tool? What will you have learned in one week, one month, or one year from your mistakes and practices?

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