I am proud to admit that in the last year and a half, I’ve made more mistakes than I can count. I believe that making mistakes is important. It forces you to learn. Making mistakes forces you to try again, to innovate, to be better. It keeps you humble.
Engineers Without Borders Canada also believes in failure. Every year they produce a Failure Report – self reported failures from different parts of the organization. Failure isn’t always disclosed in the not-for-profit sector – “How can you admit failure to your donors? Won’t my donors think that I’m just wasting their money? The more I can show success, the more easily I’ll be able to find funds…” It’s difficult to share mistakes. But we have to. How can we build a learning organization without admitting from and learning mistakes? And of course, by sharing, perhaps we can prevent the same mistakes being made by others. EWB started a website called http://www.admittingfailure.com/ to help build a culture around admitting and sharing mistakes in the not-for-profit world. You can check out EWB’s 2012 Failure Report at http://www.ewb.ca/reports/. You may even find a submission by yours truly in there (page 15)!
All for now. More soon!