Saturday, September 5, 2009

Must be the thing to do

Reading a Communications Bulletin for Managers and Supervisors, an idea jumped out at me: celebrate mistakes. By encouraging employees to share their errors with the team, everyone would learn from the mistake, and disciplining would be unnecessary. At the same time as I was mulling the merits of this, I was listening to a book on CD: How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer, and found it sychronistic that it contained these similar messages:

  • Self criticism is the secret to self-improvement; negative feedback is the best kind (Bill Robertie, backgammon master)
  • An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in his field (Niels Bohr)
  • Mistakes should be cultivated and carefully investigated
  • Mistakes are the building blocks of knowledge
  • Unless you experience the unpleasant symptoms of being wrong, your brain will never revise its models.

So, I think Celebrating Mistakes may take the place of the Kudos lists I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to encourage with staff. Now I just have to think of a mistake of my own I can publish to get the ball rolling...

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