Mistakes Caused The Success of SpaceX, IBM, 3M and Others

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Photo by SpaceX on Pexels.com

Post-its were found by 3M company as a result of a mistake (Success of SpaceX)

Remember that The first three attempts failed by SpaceX (Success of SpaceX)

However, in Michael Jordan’s Nike ad “Failure”, “I was failed so many times, that’s why I succeeded.” As he said, we can only succeed after we make mistakes and are defeated.

Companies with a high failure rate innovate more because more mistakes mean more trials.

In companies that do not tolerate mistakes, everyone does business in the shortest and most familiar way. No one dares to try a new path. A culture of obedience is replaced by a corporate culture that learns and creates together.

In today’s fiercely competitive environment, we need to establish smart organizations that are tolerant of mistakes in order to adapt the company to changing times.

To build a system that tolerates errors, we must eliminate the blame culture. It doesn’t matter who is at fault in a company. If a mistake has been made, it is necessary to ensure that that mistake is not made again.

There is a saying that I love. Only idiots repeat the same mistake.

Instead of looking for the culprit, we should analyze why and how the mistakes occur (Root-cause analysis). So that they do not happen again, we must eliminate the root cause of the error and rewrite the relevant business process. For example, People in Toyota, ask “Why?”.

Five times before finding the root causes of the error A method based on asking questions, re-examining each answer and understanding the reason for this is applied.

Post-its were found by 3M company as a result of a mistake. While it was desired to invent a very strong adhesive, on the contrary, the weakest adhesive was invented. If 3M had punished the R&D team due to the fact that their mistakes. Post-it wouldn’t be in our lives today.

Many products such as Viagra and Teflon are success stories born from mistakes.

James Dyson, the inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, also built 5,127 prototypes before this invention, learned something from each trial and changed the direction of competition in the vacuum cleaner industry.

It takes courage and determination to turn mistakes made into opportunities and to create organizations that learn from these mistakes. Instead of being afraid of mistakes and not taking risks, we should develop a culture of taking risks at the expense of making mistakes and learning from mistakes.

As Walmart founder Sam Walton said, we must stop taking ourselves so seriously and learn to laugh at our mistakes. When we make a mistake, we must first manage to “make fun of ourselves”, then analyze the mistake and take measures so that we will never make this mistake again.

During my leadership journey, I always give a chance to my team members for possible mistakes for their responsibility and new roles. The important thing for me mistakes shouldn’t repeat in the same ways. Because Only idiots repeat the same mistake.


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