"Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit."
--- Conrad Hilton
There are mistakes, then there are really, really big mistakes. We tend to overlook the small mistakes in our business, especially if we make them. But those big ones, whoa! Those sting! They hurt like a punch in the gut. We usually don't learn from those mistakes until the dust settles down and we have some breathing room to think.
If one of our team members make a whopper of a mistake, we don't let them forget… if we keep them around. But what if we could capitalize on the moment? What if we were to keep that employee around just so he or she can make even more mistakes?
"The trouble in America is not that we are making too many mistakes, but that we are making too few."
--- Philip Knight
The encouragement of mistakes might be just too outlandish of a stance for any business to take, but the smart players are doing something similar. The successful businesses are encouraging and empowering employees to take risks in order to generate better business ideas, bring in more customers, and beef up the bottom line. They are not telling team members to go out and fail, but to go boldly about your work and if you make some mistakes, we'll regroup, study it and get right back to it.
In a sense, it wouldn't be a bad idea to give employees a license to fail. In fact, using posters, emails, memorandums, etc. to communicate to employees to "Make Mistakes Today," or "Fail Big Time," might offer some encouragement for team members to not hold back their abilities for the fear of failing.
"I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views."
--- Abraham Lincoln
Of course failing or making mistakes does have consequences. Not every business has an IBM or Microsoft budget to allow employees to use their creativity at all costs, but we help our team members to avoid costly mistakes through proper training. Once every team member knows their job descriptions and understands how to operate equipment, answer the phone, etc., and the basics are covered, then they should be free to make mistakes that are in line with the pursuit of business success.
"I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes, or of appearing naive."
--- Abraham Maslow
Zappos, the online shoe (and other products) store empowers employees to do what it takes to please the customer. They once had a customer that called to say they were stuck in a hotel on a business trip and couldn't get out to get food. The sales representative located a pizza store and ordered food for the customer. The sales rep didn't have to get permission to do that, but knew the priority of customer service versus making a mistake.
At Southwest Airlines a customer service rep received a call that the customer needed a suit for an important business meeting the next morning. His got lost somewhere. Instead of going through a bunch of red tape, the customer service rep got the customer's size, rented a suit for him and hand-delivered the suit to his hotel room. He was not afraid of making a mistake.
"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes."
--- Oscar Wilde
10 Signage Lobbying Tips for Difficult Budget Years: What You Can Do to Help Government Officials
By Jeff Aran, Esq.
Whether it's electronic message centers or channel letters with the latest LED illumination, what may be straightforward and obvious to some presents a steep learning curve for others.
Read the article...
The CONTENT of Dynamic Place-based Media - The Rise of the 'Content is King' Monarchy, Part IV: More Content
By Lyle Bunn
In Part IV of this series, Content is King, we will examine templates, advertising standards, and measuring the impact of advertising content.
Read the article...
Looking for an article or trying to find an old one? Check out the SignIndustry.com article archive:
View the archive now
Seen on Freedom Fellowship Church sign:
As seen in an Irish pub:
"A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory"
Window of a butcher in Texas:
"Red meat is not bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you!"
We know those funny signs are out there. Take a moment and send them in to us and we'll share them with the world. Send all hysterical observations to: email@example.com.