These last couple of days I’ve been beating myself up, ever since I discovered that the way I had been approaching a private project was wrong. I had made it too complex and far too expensive. All along there had been a much simpler way forward, right under my nose. What’s more, the simpler approach would have been much more profitable. At the age of 58, I have still got a lot to learn it seems!
My first reaction on the discovery was that I wanted to tell the world about it. I wanted some sympathy and understanding. I wanted to hear things like “yes but how were you to know?” and “Harley, you couldn’t have done any better, you’ve worked so hard, at least you’ll know for next time.” “Consider it a valuable lesson”. But to be honest, until now I have resisted the temptation to spread the word of my folly.
The question is what do you do in this situation? Tell the world, or just your colleagues, or bite your tongue, learn and say nothing at all? The risk of keeping quiet is that sooner or later someone will work it out for themselves and then what do you say? “Ah, yes I realized that earlier on but it was too late to do or say anything about it.”
The real danger I see in not admitting to our mistakes is that by not sharing them our colleagues do not benefit from our learnings. In addition, only in a ‘lessons learned’ debate can we be sure if it actually was a mistake because there is always the possibility that perhaps the other way wouldn’t have worked)!
This morning I awoke with the same melancholy as yesterday but as I sit and write this blog – I see that indeed, that I am over it and, in the words of the lovely Nina Simone song: It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn and I am feeling good!”
Have a good week,