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Journal Article

Aus dem Scheitern lernen – leichter gesagt als getan [Learning from failure – easier said than done]

Zeitschrift Führung und Organisation (zfo)
Human resources management/organizational behavior
error, error management, failure, psychological safety, organizational learning
Even if we strive for an organizational learning culture that does not punish mistakes and failure, implementation is difficult. Especially when damage has been done, people are quick to talk about "culprits" and "sanctions," but this benefits no one. Analysis of the failure usually reveals that several factors played a role. Talking openly about this requires that the employees feel psychologically safe.
In aviation, openly dealing with mistakes is not only tolerated, but actively demanded. There, it is not the error that is the problem, but the unrecognized – or worse – the unreported error. This leads to the seemingly paradoxical result that, in the area of a high-risk organization of all places, the open, non-punitive handling of errors is the norm. The focus is on learning from mistakes in order to be able to avoid them henceforth. This principle should also apply to companies that want to reduce the errors that occur in their projects and processes.