Brian was fired the next day when the mistake came to light, and I find myself wondering if this was appropriate action in light of the failure. It seems to be more a failure of process and being human, rather than negligence or incompetence. When failure is treated in such a way you start to wonder how this affects the company culture? If failure is met with immediate dismissal it hardly encourages others to own up to mistakes. The danger is then that errors are covered up and only come to light when discovered by others, by which time the consequences can be so much worse. Yet such errors are vital to highlight potential weaknesses in the process and to avoid similar problem in the future. It seems to me that they have just fired the person who is the least likely to make a future mistake because of the very painful and public lesson learnt!
What culture exists in your organisation in respect of ‘failure’ or mistakes?
How can you ensure that ‘failure’ is seen as a learning opportunity?
How do you currently deal with your own mistakes?