What on Earth is Happening?

#Mistakes #LearnfromMistakes


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“Everything happens.” Even “IT happens.”


Eli Goldratt repeatedly said, and also put in print:

As a matter of fact I had to give up on the greatest pleasure of human beings, on the pleasure gained from bitching and moaning.”


Mistakes happen. You can bitch and moan, or learn from the experience. Mistakes cause problems if you are unlucky. My view, as a manager, is that I can tolerate a mistake the first time it happens, but not the second time.


We must take the time and learn from the mistake, no matter who might be responsible. The main aim of looking at the mistake is to prevent the mistake from happening again. I propose a method that helps you understand the mistakes.


Every action can be placed into one and only one of the following four categories (extended from a presentation by Dr Eli Goldratt, who focused on when things go Bad!):


Apologies to Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Should Do

Should Not Do


Did what should have been done

GOOD! Did what should not have been done


Did not do

Did not do what should have been done

Bad! Did not do what should not have been done


My suggestion to you is to analyse the mistake based on the two axes:

“What should have been done”, or “What should not have been done”, and

“What was done” and “What was not done”.

These four elements will distil the mistake into its components and will allow you to take action. If you take the right action, the mistake will not happen again. Happy days.

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