Everyone knows that we learn from our mistakes and that they are a necessary part of our development process.
However, how many companies have you worked for where they tolerated mistakes?
More often than not people are punished for their mistakes, which means the only things we learn is that, mistakes are dangerous and we should keep them to a minimum.
When people talk about learning from mistakes, I don’t believe that this is what we had in mind.
Mistakes can be costly and we should look to try and keep them to a minimum, we shouldn’t encourage mistakes just for the sake of learning.
However, we should be more tolerant of mistakes, and we should work with our teams to minimize the impact of mistakes and maximize the learning.
If we look to punish mistakes we will create a culture where risks are avoided, as risk taking often increases the probability of mistakes and failure.
But if we eliminate risks then we really will be settling for mediocrity, as small risks lead to small gains.
There is a saying; “you have to go out on a limb sometimes, as that is where the fruit is”.
In order for our organizations to reach their full potential, we need to take risks, sometimes big risks and this means that we will increase our probability of mistakes and failure, but we should embrace this and see it as progress.
As leaders, we set the culture, we need to be the ones who encourage risk taking in a safe environment, encouraging sensible risk taking.
If we focus on punishing mistakes, then we are stopping progress!