Wednesday, October 25, 2006

When we make mistakes!

I was reading this interesting article by David H Freedman in about how blogs can be useful in tackling mistkes made by a company employees. It makes a very interesting read.

I'm a licensed pilot, and I once managed to land a small plane on the wrong strip at a small airport. I could have gotten in pretty big trouble for it, so you might have thought my best move would have been to keep my mouth shut and hope the FAA wouldn't find out. But I couldn't wait to report my screwup to the government. I wish I could say it was because I'm such a conscientious fellow. But the truth is, I fessed up fast because the U.S. government rewards pilots for quickly owning up to their mistakes, agreeing to waive punitive action if they report themselves. In fact, most pilots carry the self-reporting form with them in their flight kit, just in case.

He extends the idea to how blogs can help in keeping track of the mistakes a company as a collective makes.

But I'm proposing something else: a blog that encourages employees and managers to tell their peers what they themselves have done wrong. It's an easy step that could quickly effect a large, positive change in your corporate culture.

Such blogs are rare. But they do exist. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for example, has set up a system in which medical residents electronically log their mistakes or any other problems they see so the hospital can analyze the errors and look for fixes. It's more of a database than a blog, but any resident can post to it without fear of recrimination. (The residents identify themselves on their reports, but are only publicly named if they're getting credit for coming up with a solution to a problem.)


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