Mistakes and Innovation – Impact of Learning

Recent talk in a LinkedIn Leadership Group got me thinking about how we deal with mistakes in the workplace. Some managers do it well and some do it badly, generating what the literature calls “Conditioned Helplessness” which is caused by contingent punishment of a behavior — that freezes things and makes learning more difficult.

Often, mistakes are avoided. But there is also the reality that if you continue to do the same thing the same way, you will continue to get the same results over the long term. Is that what you really want?

So, here is what I think is The Reality of Mistakes when they are treated as opportunities for learning and for looking at things that might be improved.

a Square Wheels LEGO Poster by Scott Simmerman

Mistakes are a natural and common result of doing things differently. Innovators and Inventors always make mistakes, but they also view that as a learning experience and their persistence in trying again and again will generate a positive result over time.

Other keywords might be:

  • Continuous Continuous Improvement (from Department of Redundancy Department)
  • Fast Failing Forward Falling
  • Don’t Just DO Something, Stand There!

So, go out and make a mistake today, and learn something from it!

 (I actually thought of doing it this way:

Square Wheels LEGO POSTER error mistakes and innovation

which wone do you like better? (grin) )


For the FUN of It!

Scott Simmerman 2014 butterflyDr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.

Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at scott@squarewheels.com

Follow Scott’s posts on Pinterest: pinterest.com/scottsimmerman/
Scott’s blog on People and Performance is here.

Square Wheels are a trademark of Performance Management Company
LEGO® is a trademark of The LEGO Group

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“Mistakes are the breakfast of great innovators” and “Recognizing Mistakes is the breakfast of great innovators”