I hate to say this, but Lucy Kellaway is not entirely correct here. Or at least her counter-example doesn't prove her point. When you fall flat on your face, you ARE going faster than you thought you could. Just not quite in the direction you wanted.
But that's not to let Meg Whitman off the hook. Her quote has been widely disseminated as a leadership lesson. Framed thus, it appears to encourage people to ALWAYS go faster than they thought they could, and to imply that going faster than you thought you could is ALWAYS a good thing.
But what if it's not quite in the direction you wanted?
World Economic Forum underway. Meg about to participate in digital transformation panel. @HPE @wef @Davos pic.twitter.com/OeGK1sarhy— Henry Gomez (@magicgus) January 20, 2016
“The future belongs to the fast” - Meg Whitman @Davos https://t.co/uYR2Kb3oeA #wef #digitaleconomy pic.twitter.com/S04angFGzD— HPE (@HPE) January 21, 2016
The plot thickens. The Financial Times receives an email from Henry "MagicGus" Gomez, head of marketing and communications at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, alleging biased reporting on Ms Kellaway's part, and warning FT management to consider the impact of unacceptable biases on its relationships with advertisers.
Fortunately, FT management is made of sterner stuff.
My reply to HP, which threatened to cut ads in FT after reading my col. I love the FT for letting me write this. https://t.co/m4oBFxzHFn— Lucy Kellaway (@lucykellaway) February 7, 2016
Digital Transformation of Industries (World Economic Forum, 20-23 January 2016)
Stéphanie Thomson, Leadership lessons from Davos 2016 (World Economic Forum, 23 January 2016)
Lucy Kellaway, Boneheaded aphorisms from Davos’s windy summit (FT 1 February 2016)
Lucy Kellaway, An old-school reply to an advertiser’s retro threat (FT 7 February 2016)
Paywall note: I believe the FT allows one link per day for non-subscribers.