Can we learn from our failures?

Can we learn from our failures?

Sep 18th, 2019

Today we explore under which conditions can we learn from our failures?

In our society we oftentimes say that we benefit from failure, mostly in terms of lesson learned, allowing for better future decisions.

Can we learn from our failures?

System are continuously exposed to failure

As Johnny Cash  stated : “You build on failure. You use it as a steppingstone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

Triaging patients in a hospital emergency room, responding to cyberthreats, or running a mineral extraction company occur in uncertain  environments or situations which expose the activities to potential failures.

How to use failure as a steppingstone?

As companies hiring new blood probably noticed, employees turnover has never been as high as today.

In fact, a Gallup report found that 21% of Millennial workers say they’ve changed jobs within the past year—a percentage that’s three times higher than non-Millennials.

Building a tool to maintain and manage knowledge and experience is therefore a necessity.

“Business as usual” is an important concept

A database recording near misses that can cross check its records by type of hazards, threats-from and threats-to is paramount. Because it allows to detect normalization of deviance. That is a very important factor as failures rarely happen overnight and hopefully failures are infrequent and past records incomplete.

Then, defining success criteria and their mirror image, i.e. the failure criteria is paramount. Indeed, without these clear definitions, any attempt to evaluate performances as well as operational, tactical and strategic risks will be vane.

Finally, if your risk register have automatic triggers that update the values of likelihood (probability) and consequences after each event or at predefined time interval, you are in control!

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Category: Consequences, Hazard, Optimum Risk Estimates, Probabilities, Risk analysis, Risk management, Tolerance/Acceptability

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