It’s really quite simple. In the complex and dynamic world of technology, you are falling behind if you aren’t learning. I know this well; I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life how many I’ve made over and over again. But slowly, I am learning.
In the complexity you face every day, errors and mistakes are inevitable. No one knows enough to get it right every time, every day.
However, when you find you’ve made a mistake, ask yourself a simple question: have I done something like this before?
Why It Matters:
Dr. Howard B. Aaron once said, “Look, you’re going to screw up. But at least be creative. Don’t make the same mistake over and over again.”
It’s OK to be ignorant. No single person knows everything. However, once you’ve made a mistake, you can’t claim to be ignorant the next time. Take time to process the mistakes. Jim Collins calls this taking an autopsy.
When companies or governments stop the learning process, alarm bells should go off, because that is when rigidity sets in. Failing to change and adapt in today’s fast-paced world can be fatal.
Rob and Mike have seen too many organizations that make the same mistake over and over again.
Don’t let this happen to you.
What To Do About It:
1. Join a business-related discussion group at work or through networking sites.
2. Turn your company into a learning organization. Create a lesson-learned wiki or “things gone wrong” shared folder in your company network.
This is one of the great strengths of Toyota in the auto industry: they learn from each negative episode, and they do it without recrimination, finger-pointing, or loss of prestige for those associated with the original problem.
3. Be careful, though, about previous mistakes; one of the worst things you can ever say is “we tried that before and it didn’t work.” The citation might be different, new facts or new technology might be available, and what was wrong two years ago might be the best thing possible today.
4. Talk over big decisions with your non-business partners. Family members and friends can be great resources.
5. Don’t let the fear of making mistakes prevent you from taking risks. No success can occur without taking risks in facing distinct difficulties.
The above material comes from my book Tech Leadership 4.0