The benefits of making mistakes

Posted on 21st Jun 2016

'When you transform traditional search into cognitive exploration something amazing happens. Everyone makes better decisions'. This Tweet, from one of the big consultancy practices, caught my eye. In business we are all making a lot of decisions, and some of these will be mistakes. The consultants have been selling us solutions, ways of making better decisions and fewer mistakes, for many decades. Big data, cognitive exploration (whatever that is) and the next buzzword are the solutions and you can buy a training course, bespoke software solution or app to improve your business practices.

Yet here we are, still making mistakes. Business keeps us busy. Luckily enough the amount of business that we have to deal with pretty much fills our time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Whether that is by necessity or design is open to question. We're contracted between those hours and we need to fill them.

Eradicating bad decisions completely would cause a problem. It would cause a problem for the consultants because they wouldn't be able to sell any more solutions. It would cause a problem for the companies who need to keep idle hands busy during contracted hours. The last thing that we want is for everything to be efficient and sorted out by 3 p.m. on Wednesday. 

Apart from anything else making bad decisions and dealing with the consequences is an important part of life as a human. If we didn't have business keeping us busy then what would we do instead? It could be disastrous. 

Instead of not making mistakes at all it is much better for us to become experienced in them. To learn to accept them and deal with the consequences efficiently and effectively. This is where well designed team building activities come into play. I don't mean off the shelf, social bonding activities. They have their place and fun is important. However, when you are building a team to be effective you need meaningful activities where people are tested in the face of consequences. The good news is that these activities can still be a lot of fun. Call us for further details.

As one client explained:

"We achieved a lot in the two days in a safe environment, discovering issues that would have taken much longer in a business setting and which could have done a lot of damage." 

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