From John Caddell at 99%: Companies and individuals go to great lengths to avoid mistakes. Motorola’s Six Sigma management strategy has spread beyond its roots in industrial process control to give managers the illusion that they can “mistake-proof” sales processes, marketing activities and creative work. When we inevitably do make a mistake, we act like someone tripping on a crack in a sidewalk – we move on as fast as we can and hope no one notices.
But if we think about where mistakes can take us, it’s to the margins, to the unknown, the unexplored – the area beyond Sigmas. And what can we learn there? We can see that some of our cherished assumptions are invalid, and that there are opportunities we never imagined.