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Mistakes = Growth?

There is an old saying “if it isn’t broke...don’t fix it.” However, Tom Peters in his book Thriving on Chaos argues, “If it isn’t broke...you probably haven’t looked hard enough!”

The top managers operate in a continuous improvement mode. They’re never satisfied because they know there is, or soon will be, a way to do better.

Rather than looking for a way to do one thing 100% better, they focus on doing 100 things 1% better, day in and day out.

Exceptional managers not only believe in the necessity of making mistakes, they see them as virtually synonymous with growth and progress. If someone hasn’t failed, they haven’t tried very hard. The objective is just to never pay twice for the same mistake.

It’s important to recognize in this rapidly changing world, that in order to stay ahead, the internal rate of change in the business needs to exceed the rate of change in the business’s external environment. If it doesn’t, the business is falling behind even though it may be moving forward.

One of my favorite quotes and one that the best managers I know live by, is a quote from Jack Welsh, the former chairman and chief executive of General Electric, who said “ The only truly sustainable competitive advantage is that ability to learn and adapt faster than your competition.”

Remember, if it isn’t broke...maybe it’s because you haven’t looked hard enough!