Mistakes can cost an organization time and money, and in many organizations, mistakes are often hidden by employees if the culture in your organization doesn’t allow them. In worst case, mistakes will never be spoken about again. Nevertheless, there can be a positive effect for organizations to make mistakes – but you need to transform them into learning-moments and that requires psychology safety in the organization. In fact, some of the greatest inventions were made from mistakes. The implantable pacemaker, penicillin, Coca-Cola, and what we love most at Bloch&Østergaard: The Post-it are all invented by mistake. And of course, the most famous historical mistake; Columbus discovering America by mistake, thinking he was heading it to India.
I guess history teaches us that mistakes can lead to prosperity. But mistakes are not only beneficial for big aha-moments or great inventions to gain prosperity, they are also useful for everyday aha-moments. Everyday aha-moments can be as small as understanding the workflow in a collaborative team or optimization of ways of working, stand up meetings or how to use canvas’ in your work. Thus, there can be bigger benefits for organizations to let mistakes happen; It expands your horizons by learning new thing, it lets you reflect about what works and what doesn’t work, it allows a gap for innovation, and it creates a psychological security, letting your team know that you allow mistakes – it leads your team to growth.
Yet, there are organizations where mistakes are not accepted. Often, we find the same pattern occur in organizations that are not ready to grow from failure – what we believe should be learning-moments. A learning-moment appear when you reframe the mistake into something valuable you and/or the team can learn from. It’s all about having a mindset of learning, and if you don’t, it will be hard to have learning-moments and grow because of them. Take these six things that doesn’t allow learning-moments and see how they fit or don’t in your organization.