Tag Archives: risk management

Learning From Mistakes

Janet was not convinced. “But, if I know they will make a mistake, what if I can’t afford the screw-up? Perhaps, I forgot to tell you that we work in a nuclear facility and this delegation has to do with moving a dollop of plutonium from one reactor to the next.”

I smiled, knowing the most hazardous waste in the place was some scrap stainless steel. “You are correct,” I acknowledged. “Picking the right person for a delegation does have everything to do with risk management. If the stakes are too high, then you may have to forego a learning experience to get the job done. But if this dollop of plutonium turns out to be a dollop of vanilla ice cream, then the risk is low. The lower the risk, the more I can allow for mistakes and learning.”

“So, picking the person depends on managing the risk. That makes more sense,” Janet nodded.

“Think about how we allow people to learn to fly commercial aircraft. They have to make mistakes to learn, yet the risk is very high. We can’t have people crashing multi-million dollar aircraft.”

Janet smiled. “Enter the simulator?”

“Exactly. People learn best from their mistakes.”