Learning from Mistakes

By Ms. Sarah Andrews, CCXP posted 03-22-2024 03:16 PM


Did you know there are specific categories of failures??

I didn’t either, until I read Amy Edmondson’s book –
Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well

(not to be confused with the RomCom from 2013 by the same name 🙃)

In the book, Amy outlines three types of failures:
🤓Intelligent – failure caused by an experiment in a new territory. It provides you with learning to advance you towards your goal. They are informed by knowledge & are small enough to deliver insights without causing catastrophic damage.
😖Basic – failure caused by inattention, overconfidence, or making assumptions. They are preventable because we didn’t use knowledge that was available to us.
😰Complex – failure caused by uncertainty, compound systems, & innovation. These errors are necessary for learning & progress.

The book is a great marriage of results from scientific studies & real-world case stories that help the principle come to life.

🎉 My favorite story was about the “failure parties” Eli Lilly hosts. Their scientists share recent experiments & how they didn’t turn out as expected. By hosting a forum for these conversations, leaders are showing all employees that:
✏They expect some failure in what they’re building
✏It is ok to talk about failures
✏It is valuable to share learnings with other people, so they don’t repeat them
✏Sharing failures sparks new ideas & collaborations between teams

When you think about your organization & the new CX initiatives you’re building:

🚦Are you creating an environment where people feel safe sharing their CX failures with others?
🚦Does your organization focus on being right & avoiding CX mistakes vs. learning & experimenting with new CX methods?
🚦Do you focus on people vs. fixing the process? (“A bad system will beat a good person every time” - Deming)
🚦Do employees fear retribution for providing feedback on how to prevent basic failures in your organization?
🚦How are you inviting people to share their failures or learnings publicly?

I would encourage you to check out Amy’s book & see how you can create a safe place in your organization so people can:
👩‍🔬 Experiment with new CX ideas
🤝 Co-create with other teams
🚧 Encourage small pilot projects
📣 Share their learnings
🛠 Build a culture of innovation

1 comment



03-23-2024 07:55 AM

Thanks for the share,  I'll add the book to my reading list.  Your summarization got my attention and interest. 

Regards Mannie