Heera Training & Management Consultants

eNewsletter April 2008

Dear Everyone,
Hi! And how are you all? I really do hope that all of you are in the best of health and everything in your life is moving in the right direction. I know great things are going to come into your life soon!!! Again, March has been a busy month conducting training from Kucing to Pangkor island. One of the best things about being a training consultant is that you get to meet lots and lots of wonderful people. I had the honor the last two days to be with a really wonderful bunch of people who were on a management retreat. Their objective – how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their company. One of the things I told them was that they must be willing to take risks and try out new things. However I also warned them that one of the by-products of trying out new things and changing is mistakes and failure.  And this is the subject I would like to talk to you this month. 

In most organizations, mistakes and failure are viewed negatively and managers and employees alike are conditioned into believing that mistakes are a reflection of the incompetence of an individual. And hence to avoid mistakes, individuals tend to play it safe by opting to do things the ‘same old way’. There is no attempt at innovation, because every time you try something new, there is always the risk of failure. But, ironically risk avoidance carries the worst risk any organisation can take. It is the surest method of creating a ‘safe’ organisation where creativity is stifled and conformity becomes the norm. This mindset then permeates the organization and becomes part of its informal culture to its long term detriment. The organization then does not ‘grow and develop’. 
Some key guidelines for managers when trying to establish a healthy risk-taking work environment are:

  • Accept Mistakes. Managers and subordinates must be taught that errors are part of the cost of development.
  • Tolerate failure. Many innovations and concepts are not successful initially. Persistence and the ability to deal with failure are therefore essential. As Akio Morita, the late Chairman of Sony says, “When customers see our products they only see success, they do not see the 99% of failures that made that product possible”.
  • Do not be conditioned by past failures. Past mistakes must be acknowledged and learned from. They must never be allowed to impede risk taking options in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I do hope I have added a little bit more to your management knowledge. Until my next mail, please do take care and do share this with your friends. Have a great month ahead!

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Heera Singh
Principal Consultant
HEERA Training and Management Consultancy
HP 0126083708