Let’s celebrate mistakes

Published on February 28, 2018   5 min

Other Talks in the Category: Management, Leadership & Organisation

I'm Henry Stewart, Chief Happiness Officer at Happy. And I want to talk to you about the idea of celebrating mistakes, because I can tell you at my company, if you ask people what they most like about working there, it's often that fact that is a no blame culture where they feel if they do the best and get it wrong, let's you celebrate.
What do you think all of these organizations have in common? Yes, you probably guessed it, they all believe in celebrating mistakes. "Brilliant Mistakes" is a book by Paul Schoemaker, who argues that 50 percent of all medical discoveries are the result of mistakes. We all know the Penicillin story of how trays were left out from the bacteria group or Viagra which was a complete side product of a completely different experiment. Einstein said, "If you do not make mistakes, what are you doing?" Google had a product called Google Wave which wasn't a success, you probably don't remember it, but the developers on it were given the same bonuses if it had succeeded. Why? Because they wanted to encourage that innovation. HCL is an Indian outsourcing company where to get promoted, you have to put in a 'Failure CV' and if you do not get enough wrong, you may not get promoted. TATA, another Indian company has a 'Failure Award', which is eagerly competed for and was put in place by the founder as he was near retirement to make sure it kept his innovation.