#MYBAD: Mistake is the first step of success

– Mistake is the first step of success –

By MBA Ind. Eng. Fabián Chafir, Lean Manufacturing Consultant

Some years ago people were fired because they were not suitable for a position in a company or because, after many mistakes, the company decided to fire them.

We looked at managers as experienced people from who we should learn since most of the time, they were right and never failed in a decision or a forecast.

Mistakes were forbidden. When someone for any reason snapped, the most important thing was to hide it quickly because if the boss knew about it, the person could be fired on the spot.

It seems that those old times have passed and companies are now open now to accept mistakes as a part of the learning process.

You often read in papers that scientists discover new inventions by pure accident. The scientific community even came up with a name for such discoveries. They called it Serendipity which means:

“An unsought, unintended, and/or unexpected, but fortunate, discovery and/or learning experience that happens by accident.”

Is not my intention, in this article, to talk about scientific discoveries. My goal is to point out that mistakes are good for a company and for employees when they are capable to manage it.

The best example is Silicon Valley where IT companies enhance mistakes under the motto “fail fast”. Failing fast makes you learn fast. It gives you the chance to think about what you did wrong, what other solution you could have chosen, and to generally re-think your failure.

Mistakes are good for companies because it is already proven that we learn better and faster from mistakes than from successes.

This mindset brings an important advantage if the company knows how to transform the failure into a learning process where everyone knows what happened, and why it happened.

When we start a new project, failure is always an option. We cannot simply deny its possibility. On the contrary, we should be ready to fail. It does not mean that we should not be working hard to reduce the risks. We all have failed at some point in our lives and when it happens, we should embrace it and learn from it.

There are plenty of tools and methodologies to help us learn from our own mistakes and to communicate with the organization in order to skill people up and prevent the same future mistakes.

#MYBAD should be heard more often in the companies. If #MYBAD is not articulated often enough, it does not means that we are perfect. It means that we are hiding our failures.

Embrace, promote, encourage your mistakes and transform your organization into a learning company.

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