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If you don't make mistakes, you don't succeed

While ago I wrote about the negative impact a fear of mistakes can create in services. Another major issue with fear of mistakes is it's impact on creativity.

Creative work is usually done in the crossroad of freedom of creative thinking and limiting factors like time and budget. There is clearly a need for both, but like in the post about the facit and explicit communication, the weaker one needs to be supported.

Schedules and budgets as resources are easy to measure and are monitored by managers that usually have a strong background on economy or engineering. Creativity and new ways of thinking can present themselves even as a threat. Typical manager role avoids uncertainty and wants to keep track of the process. Already letting other disciplines follow their process that inherently includes phases of uncertainty requires trust and tolerance for uncertainty.

When all risks are removed and processes optimized it can lead to reverting to old solutions and way of thinking which means that creative process has failed before it even started.
Another risk is that if an organization develops a culture with strong sense of "right" and "wrong",  important and revolutionary opinions may never be said aloud.

Creating something new includes always risks. If there is no room for risks, creating something new might be the wrong way. If organization has a strategy to develop something new, the strategy should surely enable new explorations by not limiting thinking of talented individuals.


Rob Smith said...

I work for a large corporation that promotes a fear atmosphere. All the worker as well as the first line supervision are afraid to make a mistake because the company will discipline anyone who makes a mistake. I have always believed that mistakes are part of the learning process and are opportunities to advance ones level of proficiency.As a result of this companies discipline polices I have decided to leave the company regardless of the pay and seek a career in Gunsmithing.

Perttu Luomala said...

Thanks Rob for your comment :)
Internal motivation surely work better than external motivators. Good luck for your new ventures!

Gun smithing sounds like a handicraft profession, which led me thinking that is it possible that tolerance for errors is somehow inbuilt into thinking in handicraft professions..?