Is it better to learn from failure… or not to fail in the first place? That’s what we believe, and here is how you can use this strategic tool to avoid big mistakes from the outset.
Not Only For Failure
As Oliver Burkeman suggests, “prospective hindsight can be used to imagine things going right, too.” The old advice to picture oneself at our own funeral and imagine what we would like people to say relies on the same principle of thinking about the future as if it had already happened. The reason why we focus on failure is that it represents what we are unable to confront.
A Twist To The Pre-Mortem
I would like to propose a twist to the original pre-mortem agenda. Since prospective hindsight does not have to rely on negative outcomes to be efficient, and since imagining a complete failure is a bit daunting, what about combining negative and positive hindsight?
Let’s start with the classic pre-mortem: imagine a failure, come up with possible reasons and solutions. But then, enough with catastrophizing. Let’s end this meeting on an optimistic note, and imagine the project to be a complete success. What led to this outcome?
It may overlap the solutions you came up with earlier, but believe me, these cannot be stressed enough. And it allows your meeting (and hopefully, your project) to have a happy ending.
We hope this blog post will help you have productive pre-mortem meetings and successful projects.
Have you tried doing a pre-mortem meeting before? Let us know how it went in the comments below!