Culture of error

Learning from the error

Everyone has heard that cliché phrase: it is by making mistakes that one learns. There is nothing more true than this, because the human being is doomed to error and as Gonzales said, living is the beauty of being an eternal apprentice.

But there is no point in making mistakes and not absorbing something positive from it. When we learn from our mistakes, we begin to master a phase about which we did not have the knowledge and we owe this to experience.

This applies also and especially to the professional field. Success will not always be the first phase, so failure is a stage to be lived.

In this way, we have the culture of error, which allows our failures to be intelligent in reaping good results from this experience and also as a means of boosting innovation.

The error and the creativity

When an idea comes out of the theoretical part, it will move to the practical part and must be tested and say how feasible it is for the business. Therefore, it is necessary to risk both in the elaboration of an idea and in its implementation.

And error is part of this process and is an inevitable margin, but, traditionally, it is not seen in a natural way, but in a disposable way, which directly involves those responsible.

Companies often repress mistakes so much, that employees are afraid to risk and fail, distressed that this can compromise their work. In this way, they feel oppressed to suggest new things or go to a more exploratory field, having their creativity inhibited.

In most Brazilian companies, this is frequent and very disadvantageous, because creativity is a prominent factor among competitors and very important in the innovation sector.

In this corporate environment, the focus has always been on sharing good practices to reinforce the ego, rather than sharing mistakes to generate learning. Employees take risks and rewards are just the organization’s. Fortunately, the culture of error changes this scenario.

Culture of error

Worshipped primarily in Silicon Valley companies, this culture concerns the mindset that mistakes are fundamental to growth as well as reinvention.

It aims to encourage innovation and risk, focusing on solutions. In a controlled environment, it is possible to identify failures, calculate successes and opportunities and define quick movements for corrections.

Therefore, the culture of error in an organization defines how each error will be treated in an environment of recycling, learning, responsibility and respect. The employee should feel that his mistakes are treated constructively and not punitively.

Companies are also afraid of error, so they tend to cover it up when it happens. The ideal is to be exposed as soon as possible so that it is easy to solve. Detecting the error is the first step of this culture.

After identifying, it is crucial to raise the origin of the problem so that learning serves the entire team, without exoneration of guilt. Once this is done, it is time to absorb the positive effects, such as a new idea of a project that went wrong and served as a model and even quick solutions to repair a mistake.

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Management practices

It is important to emphasize that each error has its peculiarity, some may be due to misconduct, lack of attention or ability, while others may be due to the complexity of a process or an exploratory test, for example.

His acceptance is fundamental in the process of self-knowledge and in the moment of potentiating forces. However, only a good leader can neutralize the blame game to learn from the mistake in a mature way.

The big challenge is to use errors intelligently, which generates knowledge and innovation in order to minimize your risks

Mistakes are not the same

More than a culture of mistakes, it is also a culture of innovation and rapid learning, which encourages people to produce in an environment free and open to suggestions.

Many companies gave up their hierarchical structure, expanding multifunctional teams to participate in meetings to elaborate projects and thus encourage the suggestion of ideas.

It is essential to reach new horizons and make it clear that the company philosophy cultivates an environment where failure is an accepted part of progress, to ensure that the culture of stagnation and fear does not prevail.

When a new project is started, the leader should encourage his employees to develop a hypothesis, then test it and learn from its results. We call this intelligent failure because it is based on good reasoning, data and assumptions.

To invest in these practices, agile methodologies performed by experimentation are used. They usually take a price into account, because in case of error, this error comes out fast and cheap.

Intelligent failures

Each company must classify the failures it considers intelligent, taking into account the guidelines and approaches that characterize intelligent risk taking followed by examples, so that employees know how to differentiate the right and the wrong way to fail.

The purpose of bringing up errors is that they can also serve as bases for discussions in meetings and even among colleagues, as well as improvements.

One of the coolest incentive methods in this culture of error is the reward of intelligent failures. As stated at the beginning of the text, only success is noticed, so how about also notice who tried?

That is what the Indian Innovist program did very well. Amid awards for the best innovations of the year, the company also awarded the best attempts in the "Dare To Try" category. With the failures more weighted and well executed, the differentiated award besides encouraging the creation and participation, encouraged the risk.

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