Fail (to learn), or fail to learn

We’re just putting finishing touches on a proposal for a very high profile nation-wide organisation. They have IT systems that process high dollars - when failure occurs it costs big money and is usually publicly visible.

We have proposed an approach that might seem a little unusual. We have suggested that their improvement processes be centered around failure. “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken” is a well-worn adage and it makes good sense in organisations that run lean and don’t have time for the “luxury” of quality improvement initiatives (besides which, they’re so 1991). Waiting until failure occurs is much more productive - provided you really address the real reason that caused the failure and pick up and fix the other factors that contributed to failure as well. There is usually more than one apparent cause - so rooting out the real one is critical. Most organisations don’t - they either fix a symptom or add yet more quality control steps into the process.

So here’s a big opportunity for these guys to learn from failure - most fail to learn.

Incidentally, can the punctuation police please let me know if I’ve got the title punctuation correct - you know what I’m trying to say.

One Response to “Fail (to learn), or fail to learn”

  1. Sofia Says:

    Some feedback about the title of this blog being “Fail (to learn), or fail to learn”. I suspect that the better way to head the article is to stick to the original format of ‘plan to fail or fail to plan’. Whether you replace the or with a “-” or “,” is probably neither here nor there as it’s hardly an entire sentence anyway.

    My suggestion is “fail to learn, learn to fail”.

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