We’re conditioned to avoid making mistakes, while it’s a tad presumptuous thinking that you can do things right the first time, every time. In today’s “new” economy, if you’re not falling on your face routinely, then you’re spinning your wheels going nowhere fast.
Those who are proud they don’t make mistakes are playing the game of life without risk or novelty, without making progress. If you or your company can’t accommodate or at times even reward the fate of failure, then realize in the long run you won’t succeed.
It’s found that doing things wrong is the feature of innovation. Trial and error beats boardroom planning every time. The reason being that the easiest solutions to the biggest problems which arises, aren’t obvious.
Looking To Error
The biggest failures in life if propelled properly, leads to the road of success. The faster that you accept, reveal, and solve mistakes, the faster that you’ll find a solution that works.
Don’t bother prolonging the agony, just get it over with by learning the most you can, and then move on. The key becomes learning to fail as often as possible to succeed sooner.
Failure Is The Key
The most successful of companies have a long and gallant history of they failing. One of the biggest computer companies failed numerous times, this until they finally built it right.
But the statistics don’t lie. The beast that is discouragement digs its teeth, as 92 out of 100 business startups will vanish without a trace within a few years, this because they never learned from their mistakes.
Mistakes Are A Blessing
There are some who can’t afford to make mistakes, such as doctors or pilots, among others. But for the rest of us, especially in the technology sector, making mistakes is a prerequisite to doing things right.
The Internet industry is a world of hit and miss, working long hours, trying out a lot of ideas and then seeing what sticks on the virtual wall. This means making a lot of assumptions, and then eliminating the bad results as they arise.
But yet, the “old economy” managers still insists, and are wanting to take their time to toil, to make sure that everything is thought out first, that everything is proven. The current economy no longer offers this luxury.
Speeding Up The Trial And Error
So accelerate the development cycle instead of slowing it down. Plan to fail as quickly as possible. Find better solutions, develop new ideas, and then try them out. Some may work, others won’t, but you’ll never know until you try.
Don’t penalize employees for making mistakes but encourage them instead. Call it troubleshooting or eliminating the “bugs.” Create a bonus for the most fragrant or brilliant mistake that one finds or solves.
Although some companies claim that they encourage mistakes, but will instead intimidate or punish them, thinking they’re costing money. So begin to foster an environment of discovering and solving mistakes, rather than discouraging them.
To Encourage Troubleshooting
Instead of giving them the evil eye, have meetings which dissects the mistakes. Solve them, and learn the lesson. Train people to recognize their errors, and then discuss the path which led them astray.
Rapidly prototype every project by bringing ideas and concepts up to speed as soon as possible, then get them into their final form. Solve the mistakes along the way by fixing them quickly.
Get a project up and running, anything that resembles the end goal or vision, then immediately fix what isn’t working.
This is found to be the best solution for doing product development, this when it comes to modern Internet technology, known as creative trial and error.
When Things Go Wrong
Never hunt down or shame the guilty, never cast blame, but instead commemorate the mistake as it brings you a step closer to perfection.
The reasons why mistakes continue to go undetected, or progresses slowly, is that no one wants to admit to the mistake. Rather than thinking their jobs are at risk, reward them instead.
When Things Breakdown
When your car breaks down, you just fix the problem. If a project or a process veers off course, consider that a breakdown. Rather than spending time pointing fingers, be thankful the error was found quickly.
Know exactly where you are, where you’re going, and then decide what you need to do next, this so you can get back on track.
Clearly acknowledge that a mistake was made. Make no admission of guilt, no penalties by blaming someone. Instead, just fix the problem and anticipate the next one.
Hire Creative Learners
Develop an organization of individuals who are capable of learning from their mistakes. If someone doesn’t have the aptitude to learn from them, then it turns into an accident.
So debrief everything, this whether good, bad, or indifferent. Instill the four-stage process of learning: Know what worked, what didn’t work, what went wrong, and what to do next.
One way of getting the process moving on a project is declaring it a “state of emergency.” What emergencies does is it mobilizes and motivates people.
Then they’ll adopt the “do-whatever-it-takes” attitude, this especially in an environment where mistakes are expected and tolerated.
Nothing’s Ever Perfect
Total quality and zero defects doesn’t exist in this day and age. You can’t also afford the time or resources that they take, so adopt the 80/20 rule.
There’s always a certain level of quality that goes beyond making mistakes, which are a viable economic alternative.
Unless the outcome impacts life or death, the cost of perfection can’t be justified. Use the mistakes that you make as opportunities to better improve your production process, this by ironing out the kinks.