Sunday, 30 September 2012

Learning from failure.

I was was recently asked by a leading product design and innovation lead company how I learnt from mistakes?

In a poignant paper published by Amy C. Edmondson the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, discusses some key cultural points.

One key point is that we learn to avoid failure from an early age.

Here's an introduction to the article:

'The wisdom of learning from failure is incontrovertible. Yet organizations that do it well are extraordinarily rare. This gap is not due to a lack of commitment to learning. Managers in the vast majority of enterprises that I have studied over the past 20 years—pharmaceutical, financial services, product design, telecommunications, and construction companies; hospitals; and NASA’s space shuttle program, among others—genuinely wanted to help their organizations learn from failures to improve future performance. In some cases they and their teams had devoted many hours to after-action reviews, post-mortems, and the like. But time after time I saw that these painstaking efforts led to no real change. The reason: Those managers were thinking about failure the wrong way.'

Click here for full paper an short video: