Do you make mistakes? Have you ever done any in your career or your life? It’s normal to be wrong! What distinguishes the good from the bad mistakes is the way we react after committing them. I suggest you think about the concept of “positive mistakes”.
A long series of positive mistakes
Do you remember your first mistakes? They are the ones who built you. Just a few months old, when you’ve stretched your arm a bit too far, you’ve discovered that you can go from your back to your stomach by moving your body. Later, you discovered how to walk, through several attempts and mistakes of coordination. The human being learns through imitation, experimentation and especially mistakes. How many of you have tried and learned from their mistakes that fire is burning? From your youngest age, and throughout your entire academic career, your educators have let you try. They let you make mistakes so that you then find the best solutions.
The main element of learning by mistake is understanding. To be able to learn, you have to understand. If children may need several trials and errors to understand, at the professional level it’s a little different. Some organizations do not tolerate mistakes, whether in relation to their culture or activity: the mistake is unacceptable. They often have a bureaucratic management style, with a lot of written procedures. Conversely, the liberated companies offer their employees the right to make mistakes, as long as they learn from their mistakes. These organizations expect employees to understand and change their way of doing things, and even make the whole organization evolve.
Positive mistakes, innovation source
A set of miscalculations and approximations, as well as a strong determination of the “project manager”, led the Spanish Court to finance Christopher Columbus’s trip, to reach Asia by the West.
Errors can produce quite interesting results for an organization. The discovery of new and unknown things often takes this avenue. Let’s look back at the case of a company by placing it in the context of Christopher Columbus.
The people who support him, check his calculations and exchange with him on potential errors. Knowing that mistakes can lead far, how far are you going to argue with whoever is going to make a mistake? In fact, everything depends on the determination of this person, but also on the risk it poses to his organization. In the case of Christopher Columbus it was the loss of 3 boats, which was quite common at this time.
If a member of your team seems to be making a mistake, what are you doing? Assess the risks to your organization, colleagues or yourself. Also evaluate the learning he can draw and accompany him to learn as much as possible. Finally, stay tuned, because his mistake could lead you on tracks that you do not know! So, fail! Fail fast! Fail a lot, while managing the risks.