Culture & Competency

Learning from Mistakes and Failure – Professor Amy Edmondson

Yesterday, I pointed to Deb’s article about the new skills required for being collaborative at work. One of the skills she talked about for managers was “the ability to accept and be okay with bad news and mistakes.”

It just so happens that Professor Amy Edmondson from Harvard Business School is talking about this very issue, at a webinar on March 29:

Great leaders know from personal experience that valuable, life-changing lessons are learned from failure. Successful individuals internalize the lessons from failure, glean wisdom, and make changes that lead to long-term success.

Yet very few companies truly learn from their failures, internalize the lessons, and make meaningful changes. After a project goes awry, reviews and post-mortems seldom lead to substantive and sustainable change.

Why do so many companies fail to truly learn from their failures?

Professor Amy Edmondson says managers often fail to appreciate that learning from corporate failure is never straightforward. In most companies, the attitudes and activities required to consistently detect and analyze failures–and to truly learn from them–are in short supply.

Looks like a great session, and Amy also has a forthcoming article in the April 2011 HBR on the same topic. So … listen or read. Your choice.

Categories: Culture & Competency