I was on a panel last week with one of my good friends talking about innovation to GA State MBA students. He’s a brilliant guy (read articles like this one and you’ll agree) but it was something about how he parents that really struck me during our talk.
We were talking with the group about accepting failure, and he made the comment that at his house, he tells his kids, “Only make new mistakes.” That means two things. First off, its ok to make mistakes. We accept mistakes, mistakes are part of the process of learning. Making mistakes means you’re trying new things and learning along the way.
But, don’t continue to make the same mistakes. Whereas making new mistakes is a sign of curiosity and creativity, making the same mistakes is a sign of ignorance. You try, you learn, you do better.
I love this sentiment – and I’ve already taken the time to tell my children the same thing – thanks, Del! – and I also love it for companies. In fact, at the Dragon Army company meeting this week, I gave a similar talk to my team. As an innovation-based company, we are always trying new things and its critically important that we take the learnings from those tests and apply them to our work going forward, so we don’t make the same mistakes over and over again.