Thanks to IISE Magazine, published by the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, for naming The Mistakes That Make Us their “book of the month.”
How our slip-ups make us stronger
IIISE member Graban explores ‘favorite mistake’ podcast topic in new book
“To err is human,” and thus, we all make mistakes. But what do our mistakes make of us? IISE member Mark Graban explores this topic in his latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation, out this summer. Graban is an author, speaker and consultant whose popular podcast “My Favorite Mistake” has featured leaders in business and other walks of life discussing how they learned and grew from their various missteps.
The book shares stories and insights from the podcast along with Graban’s own work experiences. Through each example, he shows how leaders can create a culture of learning by turning mistakes into valuable lessons and motivators. He features examples from manufacturing, healthcare and software, including two whiskey distillers, Toyota leaders, a U.S. representative and an entrepreneur from TV’s “Shark Tank.” He describes how creating an organization in which mistakes can be shared openly as a learning tool can grow a culture fertile for innovation.
“People feel safe to share when their leaders and colleagues treat them with respect,” he wrote.
“Instead of asking people to be brave, leaders must create conditions where people can feel safe. The most powerful question one can ask after a mistake is, “What did we learn?” People who know that their workplace reacts constructively to mistakes can react, learn and improve – preventing mistakes from being repeated, learning how to prevent mistakes that haven’t happened yet, and proactively improving every aspect of our work to drive better results.”
He goes on to note that,
“The mistakes that make us learn are ones to cherish. … that make us examine our actions then help us improve. … that make us frustrated, because we’ve made them before, can inspire us to finally take action and improve. … that make us notice a small problem early on help us avoid big mistakes and possibly catastrophic failures.”