There is a wonderful principle in improvisation where mistakes don’t exist unless another performer points it out.
In fact, the genius of improvisation is turning mistakes into magic.
When you are creating a story that has never been created before – how can there be a mistake? So what, you don’t know what that word means, how to speak that language, or you just flubbed a simple pronunciation. This is the point where masterful improvisers shine. If you are working with an ensemble that truly collaborates with one another – they won’t just ignore the mistake – they will turn the blunder into gold.
My favorite memories on stage are after a mistake (there have been many) when a fellow improviser justifies the mistake – which in turn takes the scene in hilarious direction that could never have been planned.
Yet, we don’t believe this principle applies off of the stage – why? Some of the world’s biggest breakthroughs have been the results of mistakes. Sticky-notes, rubber, and penicillin would not be here if their inventors didn’t turn mishaps into magic.
Think of all of the lives that have been saved because of those products, and penicillin too ;)
What about your workforce? Your team? Is there an environment of trust and collaboration? Is there trust and selflessness? Or, do you look to point out someone else’s mistake in order to make yourself look better?
Or, do you avoid taking risks so that you never make a mistake? If so, what kind of magic has ever arisen from caution?
The best and most innovative workplaces build a culture of collaboration, inspire their workers to bring their authentic ideas to the table, empower choice, encourage risks, and then turn the mistakes into magic.
How would you describe your workplace?
Remember, we are always here to help!