Failure can be humiliating, especially when it happens in public. But the real damage happens later… when the blamestorming begins.

You see it with sporting teams, Oscar hopefuls and even political parties; a dark period of shame and anger that invariably leads to a cry for radical reform, a call to blow it all up and start again.

Of course, sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed. But when the trip back to Square One is part of an emotional over-reaction, we risk destroying the good, along with the bad.

Not every reform calls for revolution; some just need a little renovation.

Renovation is the methodical re-engineering of What We Have into What We Want by way of four questions:


Q1. What should we KEEP?

What do have we got that’s good? Our intentions? Our assumptions? Our people? Whatever works, we should keep.

Once the baby’s safely out of harm’s way we can turn our attention to the bathwater:

Q2. What should we CHUCK?

What was bad? What shouldn’t have been part of the plan, what spoiled/poisoned/burdened the mission? Whatever it is, lose it.

Q3. What should we CHANGE?

What wasn’t as good as it should have been? Let’s fix it!

Q4. What should we ADD?

What should have been part of the plan but wasn’t? Let’s include it in version two.

If you’re reeling from a crushing defeat, then by all means start over.

Just don’t assume you always have to start from scratch.

Avatar photo

Written by Jason Clarke

Twitter LinkedIn

Celebrated author, adventurer, gold medal Olympian and popular TV chef; Jason is none of these things. He is, however, one of the most sought-after creative minds in the country. As founder of Minds at Work, he’s helped people ‘think again’ since the end of the last century, working with clients across Australia in virtually every industry and government sector on issues ranging from creativity and trouble shooting to culture change and leadership.