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Ok maybe there is a question of semantics here but so often when things go wrong I hear people saying “oh well you learn by your mistakes!”.

Well frankly most people don’t and those that do learn and improve learn from their mistakes not by them.

That is to say the act of making a mistake doesn’t teach you anything. Well maybe demoralisation. If you are wise you will take your mistake and what went wrong and why; and then how. The why and the how are important because they may identify a process failure so that you can start to build a picture of the way in which the failure happened.

In turn this can highlight warning signs which can be applied to future situations.

Making mistakes without the analysis teaches you nothing.

Best case you may look to avoid the exact same scenario. Learning requires a deeper understanding that you can take into future unforeseen circumstances. In quality systems we use failure mode and effect analysis but there is no reason this should not be applied to all aspects of business and decision making.

So next time you make a mistake – Learn From it.

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