Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Failure As A Learning Tool


We try not to fail. In school we are encouraged to get everything right. Yet, as humans we know we are not perfect, we know we don’t know it all so then how do we learn? Is it not through mistakes? Matthew Syed’s book ‘Black Box Thinking’ points to the airline industry as one which has learnt from failure the hard way. It is through the many crashes and loss of life that the airline industry has been able to analyse what went wrong and to learn from this. Pilots today not only benefit from improvements in technology but also better systems that support them.

In an organisational setting a learning and development strategy must include opportunities to reflect. Stories should be shared of what went wrong. Best practices can be developed this way and future mistakes avoided. We are fortunate in this day and age of technology that we have access to so much data. Use should be made of it to redefine processes, reinvent perceptions and recreate outcomes.