Mistakes are made daily in a company. Everyone knows mistakes are going to be made. We tell each other this, we tell ourselves the same, and so you’d think we’d all be ready as all get-out when a mistake is made.
But it never happens that way, right?
Mistakes get made, and we do the following:
1.) CYA – Cover your a$$. We argue why it wasn’t our fault, how we did everything in our power to prevent it, how we warned against x thing. This is a scary reaction: it indicates that the company harbors a culture of fear. A company that is afraid of making mistake is afraid of taking risks.
2.) Argue why it, what IT is, is not a problem. “It’s just the course of business…you’re being to hard on this….etc” We deny that there was a problem, that a ball was dropped, and so we pretend that we can’t improve systems or work better in the future. This is a dead-end to any company that hopes to grow.
3.) Dredge up OTHER mistakes to gloss over the current issue. Again, another form of denial. This is another version of CYA only it brings a tit-for-tat dynamic that is ultimately destructive.
We as a company need to be proactive and treat mistakes as opportunities. We need to acknowledge mistakes and provide viable solutions, even if the solutions are wacky and incomplete. There is no defense against human nature – we WILL make mistakes – so let’s get to a place to grow up and deal with them when they happen, not if they happen.