Mistakes; we can’t make mistakes. Mistakes will cost us money; mistakes will cost us customers. We must never do anything that can go wrong. If it is risky, whatever it is, we can’t try it because we might make a mistake.
Does that sound like the way that we run our businesses? Is that our philosophy of business? Never try anything risky; we might make a mistake. We might fail. After all, failures are just big mistakes, aren’t they? Mistakes make us look weak; mistakes make us look like we don’t know what we are doing.
Mistakes must be learning experiences. Business people who do not make mistakes don’t learn. They don’t evolve, and their business does not evolve. Their business does not grow; their business does not prosper. They will remain in the same state in which they have existed until they expire from the weight of their lack of imagination.
Let’s say that we do venture out of our comfort zone and try something new and unique. We try something different and “radical” as opposed to our status quo. We attempt something that we have not tried previously, and we make a mistake. Shock and horror; what do we do? We must learn from our mistake and try something else.
We must adapt whatever we did wrong, and change what we are doing in order to correct whatever we did wrong. We must learn that whatever we did does not work correctly and that we should do something else. How do we pick up the pieces and put everything “right” again? How do we recover?
We stop; we take a deep breath and we study whatever went wrong and fix it. We “take ownership” of the mistake, acknowledging that we made a mistake and start fixing the mistake. If the mistake involves customers, we acknowledge our mistake to them, and we begin to fix the customer situation, attempting to put everything “right”.
We do not blame anyone else, either inside or outside our organization. We “own” the situation and make the customer “whole”. If we cannot make the customer “whole”, we do everything that we can to overcome the situation. Our customer must come first, and we must do everything that we can to regain and solidify their trust in our business. We have an opportunity to make our relationship stronger and better if we react correctly.
People who do not make mistakes do nothing, and their business does not grow. The only certainty in business is that change will be necessary; the only constant is that change does happen. We must embrace change, take advantage of what change gives us, and make our success from change. When we make mistakes in dealing with change, we must learn from those mistakes, and move forward.
Our best leaning experience may be our latest mistake. Our customers actually want us to take new and different actions that may result in mistakes, but they also want to see how we handle those mistakes. If we “own” our mistakes and recover in the right way our customer relations will be better and stronger. Please leave your comments here, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.