The right to be wrong

A large number of companies have a culture of perfection or, at least, « right from the start »  in their values. As a consequences, failing is not welcome. Who like to fail? Nobody!

Even if you don’t like it, failure occurs. And the worse thing about failure is to fail to learn from it and to repeat our failures. Unfortunately, with a « right from the start » culture, employee tend to be scared to fail and try to hide, as much as possible their failure. If there is no failure, there is no lesson to learn from it or not the right one if the truth about the root cause is kept secret. Moreover, such culture prevent creativity to occur in our offices. To do it right we do it like the others, we follow the normal path, the one without risk. Nowadays, can companies afford to be on the same path as their competitors? Don’t we need fresh ideas, innovation, improvements? But if your employees are scared of proposing a (maybe) good and innovating idea, how will you achieve innovation? If you cannot fail, how will you succeed?

Another consequence is the tendency to postpone decisions. In order to minimize risks, managers tends sometimes to postpone decisions or to transfer the risk, meaning the decision process, to the upper management. What is worse? Taking a maybe wrong decision or not deciding? Going forward or staying still? No decsision is a bad decision (100% chances). Deciding is likely less risky but fear of being wrong (or not being right) slow down the process or burden upper management with additional (sometimes minor) decisions to take.

Experience shows that accepting failure will likely increase the number of failures during the first year. Not because people will do more but rather because they will report more failures. With time, failures will diminish as people will learn and creativity and success will rise.

Are you ready to take the risk to allow people to be wrong?