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Accepting Mistakes Promotes Innovation

by Jonathan Jones

Innovation is hampered when mistakes are not accepted in the workplace. Employees learn not experiment, develop, or learn anything new, and they enter an acquiescence posture. The leader may have greater power, but there is less innovation. The most talented individuals will choose employment with a company that allows them to take calculated risks for the benefit of the company and the customer, or to do the right thing. Winston Churchill offers the following insight: “Success is stumbling from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

Our companies grow through the development of our personnel, and experience is the finest teacher. When leaders replace an employee due to intolerance, they forfeit their investment in that employee’s organizational experience. A new employee will need to learn the company’s culture and may not possess the same ability as the previous worker.

Accepting our own shortcomings is simpler than accepting the failures of others. We have greater influence over how we recover from our own errors. Our responsibility as leaders is to foster a thriving atmosphere. We must build a vision of achievement and reinforce that vision with clear expectations and coaching.

Proper personnel selection is crucial, but very few individuals possess all the necessary qualities for success immediately. We cannot expect everyone to behave identically to us. They do not share the same history, experiences, or mental processes that we do. We recruit individuals with diverse skill sets for a purpose, and when we create the proper atmosphere and provide constructive mentoring, our employees often surpass our expectations.

We must accept other people’s mistakes and respond to them with support and guidance.

Jonathan Jones (Jonathan.jones@vistagechair.com or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.

Submitted 44 days ago
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Categories: categoryCulturecentric Leadership
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