It can be very beneficial to make mistakes – you’ll end up having learning moments

learning moments

By Arbresh Useini, 19. August 2019

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.

1. You don’t have a learning-mode culture

WD-40, Amazon, Google, Coca-Cola and Netflix actively use mistakes to create a culture of growth. Simply reframing mistakes in the organization as learning moments can change the outcome. It requires getting the company in a learning-mode, which changes the speed of the business. Learning-mode organizations has a culture of constantly wanting to learn new thing and grow or transform because of it. Learning-mode as a culture, creates a fast decision-speed, and allow us to innovate in a different, yet, faster pace. Learning-mode is more accessible in agile organizations, where transparency is a factor. Transparency in your organization means a culture where mistakes are acceptable and being noticed by anyone, so you all can learn from them. A culture where people feel free to explore, innovate and make mistakes.

2. You don’t allow failure

If you don’t allow mistakes in your organization, people will hide making mistakes and might give the expression of never making them. But if something has to do with people, mistakes can occur – whether they are visible or not. If you have created a culture where mistakes are not embraced, there are two things happening:

  1. Employees are afraid to make mistakes, and
  2. Employees don’t come up with new initiatives in fear of failing.

Both result in uncommitted and unengaged employees. It’s time to let people shine and get out of their hiding places because they are afraid. The number one killer of innovation is having a culture that hesitates to empower employees to take risks. It should be safe to fail.

3. You all look alike

Perhaps there’s only one thing that’s worse than employees who don’t dare to fail, and that’s teams that are statically stuck in doings and ways of thinking. Lack of diversity in organizations causes group dynamics with the same mind patterns, where alternative and innovative ideas do not come at stake.

Diversity in organizations lets organizations grow on ideas, mindsets and innovation. Not only diversity in terms of age and gender, but backgrounds, personalities and experiences bring in new ideas, thoughts and different mindsets to the table. Innovation, ideas and prosperity comes from many people across and within the organization, so help your employees understand that they can contribute to innovation and change, and welcome ideas from everywhere. In a previous podcast episode, Engaging Youth in the Business of Tomorrow (in Danish), you can hear about how the Danish company Carlsberg innovated by inviting ideas from outside, which resulted in a zero-plastic culture.

4. You don’t communicate

Maybe you allow mistakes, but your employees don’t know. Psychology safety, which allows mistakes to be spoken about and learn from, demands a good and clear communication. Communication and transparency across all levels of management result in trust and engagement from employees. The number 1 rule for good communication and transparency is to be clear on what do you expect from each other, and is there a clarity around what we are trying to decide?

I’ve seen leaders give the silent treatment when they weren’t satisfied. E.g. When confronted about any given report he/she wasn’t satisfied with, he/she would reply with, “No answer is also an answer”. This kind of no-communication always accumulate a lot of frustration in employees.

Companies like these, where leaders don’t communicate clearly, suffocate because employees don’t really know if they are on the right path. Organizations need a clear path. Unclear communication can end up in lost valuable knowledge, which is shared in the organization and that leaders might miss.

An organizational network analysis (ONA) can tell you how your organization is networking. Encourage people to be part of decision making, and have a clear communication – even if it’s negative feedback. No answer should never be the answer.

5. Leaders never fail

When we’re out helping organizations, we sometimes encounter leaders that aren’t in learning-mode or in the right mindset to learn new things. Sometimes, this is our greatest challenge. Responsive leaders must lead by example. This requires that you, as a leader, can be more risk-taking, experimental and collaborative. Being conscious incompetent will help you allow people develop by simply admitting when you don’t know.

Leadership isn’t about being in charge, but about taking care about people.

– Garry Ridge

Garry Ridge exemplifies it well in this podcast episode. Taking care of people means helping them to do what their hired to do at their best. Acknowledging when you don’t know will help you along the way, and learning moments will be a normal part of the workplace. Garry Ridge also tells, when he makes a mistake, he celebrates it by saying “YES! I had a learning-moment”. Be like Garry – have learning-moments.

6. You don’t stop up and review – every time

Visions and directions get things started, but it’s inevitable to make some mistakes along the way. Instead of hiding the mistake, and never talk about it again, make sure you talk about what you’ve learned. But reviewing should also happen when things go as they should.

Most leaders think it will take forever to review any direction along the way, but it shouldn’t necessarily be like that. When you make strategies and ask the organization to execute them without any review, you’ll end up in an infinite circle of strategy and execution, without pausing and reflecting on what went well or if everybody is on the right path. It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming event, though. Sometimes two minutes are enough.

At Bloch&Østergaard, every half year we plan the next six months. Every strategic initiative is written on a post-it, and as time goes, we each choose the ones we want to work with. After ending every task, we review them together. What went well, what worked, what didn’t, and what did we learn? Through this kind of transparency, it allows us to review and have learning moments.

Create a growth culture with learning-moments

Can you recognize your organization in these six ways of suffocating good ideas? Then, it may be time to rethink your culture of growth through mistakes.

There can be hidden benefits in making mistakes:

  1. No one tries to cover their mistakes – instead everybody has a chance to learn from them.
  2. Mistakes can speed up innovation, because the fear of risks is smaller when mistakes are allowed.
  3. It allows your employees to be curious on the mistakes, and you’ll all learn new things.
  4. It is part of creating psychological safety

Are you looking for
a coach or
a professional mentor?

The world and your employees have changed.
Do you want to keep up
– and shape the future?

Want to know more?
Send me an email
and I’ll get back to you!

Curious on what we do?

Take a look under #blochøstergaard on Instagram

Jeg skal holde oplæg i Oxfordshire 12-Feb. Det gl Jeg skal holde oplæg i Oxfordshire 12-Feb. Det glæder jeg mig til! #futureofwork #tealdotsinanorangeworld
Sådan så min bog ud, hos en jeg besøgte sidste Sådan så min bog ud, hos en jeg besøgte sidste uge 😊 Gennemlæst og brugt, med postits, æselører og notater 💪😃👍 “Jeg har talt varmt om den mange steder og nu også læst din første bog - bravo til den også!” #tealdotsinanorangeworld
Ud af de ni mest liket billeder fra 2019, så er j Ud af de ni mest liket billeder fra 2019, så er jeg mest stolt af min første hjemmelavet pizza dej. Som I åbenbart var enige i var en stor præstation for mig. 💪🏼😂
Ellers et godt år med bestyrelsesuddannelse, rejse til Japan og umådelig meget foredrag, workshop og oplæg. 🙌🏼🙏🏼😎 #åretdergik #hjemmelavetpizza #2019 #blochoestergaard #blochøstergaard #foredrag #partnersincrime
Reading about leading and designing modern organiz Reading about leading and designing modern organizations while my youngest daughter leads the other riders in the class.  Thanks for the inspiring book erikqstergaard #tealdotsinanorangeworld #leadership #ugilic
Taking a break from all the Christmas preparations Taking a break from all the Christmas preparations... a nice glass of Port and a book I’ve been looking forward to read for a few weeks, by my very dear friend erikqstergaard He’s the shit and if you don’t know him - hurry and correct that! I’ve got like 30min. before the duck hits the oven, so here goes...
#christmas #reading #tealdotsinanorangeworld #downtime #mindthemind #merrychristmas
Det her er totalt meget "ananas i egen juice" ... Det her er totalt meget "ananas i egen juice" ... men jeg er temmeligt glad og stolt. Jeg er blevet interviewet til SCENARIO Magazine, der udgives af Instituttet for Fremtidsforskning.

SCENARIO er et magasin, jeg har abonneret på i flere år. Jeg har rost det, jeg synes det er velskrevet, og jeg læser alle artikler, fra ende til anden. Folk der har set mig til foredrag og kurser, har hørt mig rose det. 
Og nu er jeg sgu selv kommet med i det. Damn, det gør mig så glad. Og Adam Graafland Nordlund har ret præcist fanget essensen af hvad der optager mig for tiden.

Adam og jeg talte sammen mere end to timer - om jazz og kaosmatematik og ledelse og samfund, og det har han kogt ned til dette interview, i december 2019-udgaven af SCENARIO. Jeg er glad - og en smule overvældet :) #tealdotsinanorangeworld #blochoestergaard #blochøstergaard blochoestergaard
Organizing the workspace of the future with respon Organizing the workspace of the future with responsive leadership and team-oriented organisms 📚
Når man er færdig med at skrive en bog, ja, så Når man er færdig med at skrive en bog, ja, så fortsætter man med at skrive. Eller, jeg gør i hvert fald.

Jeg skriver en artikel om ugen, til et magasin, en avis eller et online medie af en slags. Typisk er det 1000 ord, der skal leveres. Og efterhånden kan jeg levere det på to timer. :) #TealDotsInAnOrangeWorld #FutureOfWork #FutureOfLeadership #OrganizationalDesign #blochoestergaard #blochøstergaard blochoestergaard
Best nine 2019 Bog bog bog Bog bog TINTIN Bog Wor Best nine 2019

Bog bog bog
Bog bog TINTIN
Bog Work bog 😃

#tealdotsinanorangeworld
Jeg havde årets sidste foredrag i dag hos Lederne Jeg havde årets sidste foredrag i dag hos Ledernes KompetenceCenter, om "Den moderne organisation". Det var årets 35. foredrag.

Temaet var fremtidens ledelse, fremtidens organisation - og naturligvis "Teal Dots in an Orange World". Tak til ledernedk for et godt 2019 - og tak til Helle Damsgård for at være tovholder på kurset "Future of Work", som jeg underviser på i 2020. // #tealdotsinanorangeworld #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard blochoestergaard #futureofwork #futureofleadership
Hvilken bedre måde at slutte måneden på end bog Hvilken bedre måde at slutte måneden på end bogreception for erikqstergaard. 🎉🥳🥂 Jeg bliver så uendelig glad af at møde en masse mennesker med samme tanker om at ændre måden vi arbejder på. 🙌🏼🙏🏼 Tak for alle jer, der tænker anderledes. 🤓🙋🏻‍♀️ #blochoestergaard #futureofwork #changemangement #tænkanderledes #blochøstergaard #fremtidensledelse #tealdotsinanorangeworld #tealdots
Yay! Nedtællingen er slut. 🥳🥂Bogreception f Yay! Nedtællingen er slut. 🥳🥂Bogreception for @erikqstergaard nye bog er i dag og alt er klart. Følg med i story for hvad der kommer til at ske. 😄😎🤩 #blochoestergaard #blochøstergaard #tealdotsinanorangeworld #book #bogreception #newbook #linkibio #futureofwork #organizing #organization #tealdots #orangeworld #platform #ecosystem
Erik taler - igen. Denne gang hos ingeniorforening Erik taler - igen. Denne gang hos ingeniorforeningen_ida til deres konference “Ledelse der Styrker”. Og igen om #tealdotsinanorangeworld // blochoestergaard #futureofwork #futureofleadership #blochoestergaard #blochøstergaard
Rytmer i din organisation skal forstås som en fas Rytmer i din organisation skal forstås som en fast række touchpoints mellem mennesker og teams. Det handler om at synkronisere aktiviteter, ressourcer, erfaringer m.fl. Det fordeles ud fra to designparametre: Rhythm of Business og Rhythm of Connections. 🔄💡🙋🏼 Nysgerrig på hvor skillelinjen er mellem de to og hvordan du tager de første skridt? Tune ind og lyt til den nyeste episode af podcasten Fremtidens Ledelse to-go! 🎧🎙 ____________________
#Podcast #Blochoestergaard #blochøstergaard #fremtidensledelsetogo #fremtidensledelse #rhythmofbusiness #rhythmofconnection #ecosystem #økosystem #tealdotsinanorangeworld #tealdots #kultur #culture #leadership #ledelse #modernleadership #modernpeopleleadership #organizationalnetworkanalysis #ONA #organizing #rhythm #scrum #agile #agilerhythms #tealorganisation
Har du overvejet, hvordan din ledelsesstil ændrer Har du overvejet, hvordan din ledelsesstil ændrer sig i takt med, at vi ændrer 'ways of working'? 🤔@erikqstergaard har skrevet et blogindlæg om, hvordan du leder økosystemer, og hvordan din rolle som leder ændrer sig. At lede økosystemer sætter fokus på at dyrke organisationskulturen og på at bygge relationer. Det kræver en leder, der er 'teal' i hjertet. 💚🧡 Klik på link i bio for at læse blogindlægget. 
_______________________
#tealdotsinanorangeworl #blochoestergaard #ecosystems #leadershipstyle #modernleader #futureofwork #newwaysofworking #leadingecosystems #modernorganization #leadership
På vej hjem fra globalpeterdruckerforum. Vi skriv På vej hjem fra globalpeterdruckerforum. Vi skriver blogindlæg med alle vores input og indtryk fra de to intense dage. #futureofwork #futureofleadership #blochoestergaard #blochøstergaard blochoestergaard
Som altid efter konference: post-its, ideer og tan Som altid efter konference: post-its, ideer og tanker. Snart er det samlet i et blogindlæg. 🤓💡 #gpdf19 #petersruck #blochoestergaard #postits #futureofwork #modernleadership #ecosystems
Great to bump into the blochoestergaard gang at gl Great to bump into the blochoestergaard gang at globalpeterdruckerforum 2019. #Repost from erikqstergaard #blochøstergaard #GPDF19 #globalpeterdruckerforum #leadership #leadershipagility #agile #futureofwork
Yay! Konferencen over alle ledelseskonferencer: Gl Yay! Konferencen over alle ledelseskonferencer: Global Peter Drucker Forum. 🤓🙌🏼
Nu skal i dag og i morgen bare gå ud på at få nye indsigter og blive maks inspireret! 🤓😉 #gpdf19 #ledelse globalpeterdruckerforum blochoestergaard #blochoestergaard #konference #gpdf #leadership #futureofwork #ecosystems
Workshop-prep. #lego! #blochøstergaard Workshop-prep. #lego! #blochøstergaard
2017: 39 2018: 49 2019: 31 Det er antallet af opl 2017: 39
2018: 49
2019: 31

Det er antallet af oplæg vi har givet de sidste par år, og som I måske kan se, så har vi ikke holdt ligeså mange i år, som tidligere. Det skyldes bl.a. @erikqstergaards "skrivehi", hvor han har brugt nogle måneder på at skrive sin nye bog (som udkommer om små to uger!). 📃✍🏼📗 Men, det stopper ikke os andre i at holde foredrag som @linebloch på billedet, eller @pukfalken, der forleden talte om millennial og ledelse. 🧑🏼‍🏫💁🏻‍♀️🤓 ___________________
#keynotespeaker #publicspeaker #blochoestergaard #blochøstergaard #modernleadership #organizationalnetworkanalysis #ONA #organizing #organization #network #ecosystem #moderneledelse #changemanagement #futureofwork #fremtidensledelse #progressivledelse #futureofleadership #teamsofteams
De næste fire episoder i podcast 'Fra 10 til 100 De næste fire episoder i podcast 'Fra 10 til 100 med kulturen som oase' er landet i din podcastapp. De fire episoder afslutter denne sæson og omgang af podcastserien og handler om: Social kapital, rekruttering, kunderelationerne og skalering. 🤔
Det har været så fedt at være med til at lave podcasten, så vi håber I også bliver inspireret og får en masse nye og gode tanker ud af at lytte med.
_________________
#podcast #blochoestergaard #blochøstergaard #fra10til100medkulturensomoase #oase #kulturensomoase #pingaladk #modernleadership #ledelse #fremtidensledelse #progressivledelse
Skal du med til Global Peter Drucker 2019? I år h Skal du med til Global Peter Drucker 2019? I år handler det om 'The power of Ecosystems', og vi glæder os til at deltage for tredje år i træk! I denne episode, tager @Pukfalken dig med igennem nogle klip fra sidste års konference, hvor du kan høre om vores refleksioner fra sidste år. 🎧🎙
Skal du med i år, så lad os mødes og tale videre om vores tanker og inspiration. Vi ses til GPDF 2019.
____________________
#Podcast #Blochoestergaard #blochøstergaard #fremtidensledelsetogo #fremtidensledelse #globalpeterdruckerforum #gpdf2019 #gpdf #ecosystem #økosystem #tealdotsinanorangeworld #tealdots #kultur #culture #leadership #ledelse #modernleadership #modernpeopleleadership #organizationalnetworkanalysis #organizing #tealorganisation
Det er ikke tilfældige bogstaver på billedet, ne Det er ikke tilfældige bogstaver på billedet, nej. SCQA, ADAKAR og STCQRR kan betyde noget for din ledelsesstil. God lederskab er engagerende, motiverende og skaber en fælles forståelse af, hvad I kæmper for. ✅ Hvordan kan du så analysere og forstå din egen ledelsestilgang? 🤔@erikqstergaard har, i hans sidste blogindlæg, skrevet tips og tools om, hvilke spørgsmål er nyttige at spørge sig selv om som leder. Klik på linket i bio for at læse hele indlægget.  _______________________  #blochøstergaard #futureofwork #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #tips #tools #management #organization #business