Reframing Failure: IDeAS Process Handout

It can be daunting to reflect on a recent professional failure, but studies show that developing a level of comfort while receiving useful negative feedback (from others or yourself) can help you foster a growth mindset (Dweck, 2006, Crum, Salovey, & Achor 2013).

The IDeAS process was developed to help assist you in your reflective endeavors.  Built using reflective practice  and organizational developement literature, the process guides you through a series of questions in which you

Identify a recent failure

De-brief the incident

Analyze the incident

Strategize future responses or potential solutions

In field-testing the process with educational developers we found that spending 5-10 minutes in the “Identify” stage helped colleagues move through the remaining steps more productively.  Use the link below to work through the process yourself.

Recently we presented our work as the Anchor Session at the Professional and Organizational Development network (November 10, 2013).


Videos Used in POD Conference 2013 Presentation

Here are the direct links to the videos we used during our presentation:

How Does it Feel to Fail?  (Direct link:

Life = Risk (Direct link:


Taking the IDeAS to Your Campus

Use this link to think about how to use the IDeAS process on your campus:


POD 2013 Anchor Session References

•Cannon, M. D., & Edmondson, A. C. (2005). Failing to learn and learning to fail (intelligently): How great organizations put failure to work to innovate and improve. Long Range Planning, 38(3), 299-319. doi: 10.1016/j.lrp.2005.04.005
•Crum. A.J., Salovey, P., & Achor, Shawn.(2013). Rethinking stress: The role of mindsets in determining the stress response. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104 (4), 716-733.
•Cusin, J. (2012). Disillusionment from Failure as a Source of Successful Learning. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences/Revue Canadienne des Sciences de l’Administration, 29(2), 113-123. doi: 10.1002/CJAS.227
•Dweck, C.S. (2006). Mindset: A new psychology of success.  New York: Random House.
•Felten, P., King, C., Eds. (2012). Threshold concepts in educational development: An introduction. Journal of Faculty Development,  26 (pp. 3-7).
•Hodges, L.C. (2006,). Preparing Faculty for pedagogical change: Helping faculty deal with fear.  In S. Chadwick-Blossey, and D. R. Robertson (Eds). To improve the academy: Resources for faculty, instructional, organizational development. 24,  (pp. 121-134) Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing.
•Land, R., Cousin, G., Meyer, J. H., & Davies, P. (2005). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (3): implications for course design and evaluation. Improving Student Learning–equality and diversity, Oxford: OCSLD.
•McAlpine, L. and Weston, C. (2002). Reflection: Issues related to improving professors’ teaching and students’ learning.  In N. Hativa & P. Goodyear (Eds.) Teacher Thinking, beliefs, and knowledge in higher education (pp.59-78).  New York, NY: Springer.
•Moon, J.A. (1999). Refection in learning & professional development: Theory and practice. Sterling, VA, Stylus Publishing.
•Sitkin, S. B.  (1992). Learning through failure: The strategy of small losses. Research in Organizational Behavior 14 , 231-266.