November 27, 2008

Does your organization budget for learning costs? Well, I am not talking about classroom training costs. I am talking about costs and losses due to 'learning mistakes' of people.

People learn and grow when they take charge to tackle challenging projects. And when they take charge, sometimes they commit mistakes and learn from them. Many times these mistakes cost the organization dearly in the short run. But these mistakes are 'learning mistakes' that help develop people and groom them for bigger roles.

Everyone learns from mistakes only. The more mistakes one commit, the better one's chances of achieving higher and higher success, provided same mistake is not committed twice and one learns from each mistake. You can't learn to walk and run unless you fall a few times. Great organizations recognize this power of mistakes and actively encourage people to take up challenging roles without any fear of committing a few mistakes on the way as long as mistakes are used as a learning tool.

My point is why not explore the idea of having budgetary provisions to take care of short term costs and losses due to mistakes committed by people while performing a challenging job. That would be a great way to help people overcome the fear of failure and cultivate the habit of prudent risk taking when in charge of a challenging project.