We are human so we make mistakes. It’s a given. But sometimes we see those mistakes as a sign of weakness or failure, instead of what they really are: opportunities to learn. I recently stumbled upon The Mistake Bank, a social network that capitalizes on just that. According to the site, “the mistake bank is a place to share stories of mistakes … that you think others could learn from.”!@!
In fact, there is a video of John Edwardson, the CEO of CDW Corp., talking about an important lesson he learned while at Northwest Airlines. The CEO at the time came into his office and said that Edwardson was too critical and too judgmental. If he wanted to move ahead at Northwest Airlines or probably any other company, he needed to become a better listener. As a result, Edwardson changed and became a team player. This insight, as well as others, serves as a reminder that no one, not even CEOs, are perfect.
Not only is The Mistake Bank a great place for you and your employees to learn from others, but developing your own “mistake bank” could prove to be a powerful organizational learning tool. If people had a place where they could learn from others’ mistakes, it would prevent them from making the same mistakes. But more than that, developing a “mistake bank” would take away some of the stigma around mistakes and facilitate a true learning environment.