Learning from our mistakes is popular advice and I find it interesting that the majority of the advice and the majority of experts’ quotes have two common themes:
- If YOU are taking risks and moving forward, YOU will make mistakes.
- When YOU make mistakes, the key is not to make the same mistakes twice.
Good advice but not updated for today:
- Today’s challenges include serious economic challenges, accelerating threats and constant changes.
- Today’s leaders will not live long enough to make all the mistakes on their own so today’s leaders must do a better job of learning from the mistakes of others.
Headlines, lessons learned and case studies seem to be occurring almost every day and the incidents are showing alarming and dangerous trends in two key areas:
- Bad guys are taking advantage of known gaps and weaknesses that organizations are not proactively addressing
- Individuals (at all levels) and organizations are making the same mistakes over and over leading to expensive and embarrassing results
While a lot of leaders are saying a lot of the right things when it comes to mistakes and lessons learned, it is time for today’s leaders to take proactive steps to implement and maintain customized knowledge based on their own lessons learned as well as lessons learned from mistakes made by others.
Another good reason to learn from the mistakes of others is impressive ROIs! If it is someone else’s mistake then your costs are $0 and if your proactive efforts reduce, eliminate or prevent thousands or millions of dollars in expenses, fines and lawsuits…why wouldn’t you?