The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation by Mark Graban
We all make mistakes. What matters is learning from them, as individuals, teams, and organizations. A culture of learning from mistakes spurs improvement, innovation, and better business results.
The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation is an engaging, inspiring, and practical book by Mark Graban that presents an alternative approach to mistakes. Rather than punishing individuals for human error and bad decisions, Graban encourages us to embrace and learn from them, fostering a culture of learning and innovation.
Mistakes cannot be prevented by proactively firing all of the mistake-prone people — because that’s all of us.
Sharing stories and insights from his popular podcast, “My Favorite Mistake,” along with his own work experiences, Graban shows how leaders can cultivate a culture of learning from mistakes. Including examples from manufacturing, healthcare, software, and two whiskey distillers, the book explores how organizations of all sizes and industries can benefit from this approach.
You’ll read stories from leaders at Toyota, the technology company KaiNexus, along with former U.S. Representative Will Hurd, Kevin Harrington from “Shark Tank,” and many others.
The also shares compelling examples of the power of iterating our way to success. Graban suggests we shift the thinking from “fail early, fail often” to “make small mistakes early, learn, adjust, and succeed.” Or, more succinctly, “small mistakes can lead to success.”
In the book, you’ll find practical guidance on adopting a positive mindset towards mistakes. It teaches you to acknowledge and appreciate them, working to prevent them while gaining knowledge from the ones that occur. Additionally, it emphasizes creating a safe environment to express mistakes and encourages responding constructively by emphasizing learning over punishment.
Speaking up about mistakes isn’t a matter of character or courage; it’s a function of the workplace culture.
Developing a culture of learning from mistakes through psychological safety is essential in effective leadership and organizational success. Leaders must lead by example by admitting their own mistakes and reacting well when employees do the same. Instead of solely pushing for people to be courageous, leaders reduce the risk involved in speaking up.
Psychological safety helps people feel comfortable speaking up; with effective problem-solving and mistake-proofing methods, we get action and improvement.
The Mistakes That Make Us is a must-read for anyone looking to create a stronger organization that produces better results, including lower turnover, more improvement and innovation, and better bottom-line performance. Whether you are a startup founder or an aspiring leader in a larger company, this book will inspire you to lead with kindness and humility and show you how learning from mistakes can make things right.
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Starting August 9, 2023, we will meet weekly on Wednesdays from 12:00 (noon) to 1:00 PM Eastern Time. The meetings will last for approximately one hour for nine weeks.
Microsoft Teams web meeting invites will be sent to enrolled attendees. I would encourage you to join via both webcam video and audio. I have found that this combination enriches our interactions and our discussion.
Bookclub members will submit topics and questions you want to discuss before each meeting. The responses will be compiled, and we will then priority vote on the most popular topics to discuss in each meeting. This format is similar to Lean Coffee and helps ensure we discuss what is most interesting to the group.
Mark Graban is an author, speaker, and consultant, whose new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation.
He is also the author of the award-winning book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement and others, including Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More.
He serves as a consultant through his company, Constancy, Inc, and is also a Senior Advisor for the technology company KaiNexus.
Submit topics and questions you want to discuss the night before each meeting. The responses will be compiled, and we will then priority vote on the most popular topics to discuss in each meeting.
A.G. Lafley has been named the new Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chairman of Procter & Gamble, where he previously served as CEO from 2000-2009. Under Lafley’s leadership, P&G’s sales doubled, its profits quadrupled, its market value increased by more than $100 billion, and its portfolio of billion-dollar brands—like Tide, Pampers, Olay, and Gillette—grew from 10 to 24 as a result of his focus on winning strategic choices, consumer-driven innovation, and reliable, sustainable growth.
Roger Martin is Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and an adviser to CEOs on strategy, design, innovation, and integrative thinking. In 2011, Roger was named by Thinkers50 as the sixth top management thinker in the world. This is his eighth book; he also contributes regularly to Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times, and the Washington Post, among others. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB in economics from Harvard College.
A Wall Street Journal and Washington Post Bestseller. A playbook for creating your company's winning strategy.
Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It’s hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future—something that doesn’t happen in most companies.
Now two of today’s best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategy—explaining what it’s for, how to think about it, why you need it, and how to get it done. And they use one of the most successful corporate turnarounds of the past century, which they achieved together, to prove their point.
A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, doubled P&G’s sales, quadrupled its profits, and increased its market value by more than $100 billion in just ten years. Now, drawn from their years of experience at P&G and the Rotman School of Management, where Martin is dean, this book shows how leaders in organizations of all sizes can guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success—where to play and how to win.
The result is a playbook for winning. Lafley and Martin have created a set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors. They are:
• What is our winning aspiration?
• Where will we play?
• How will we win?
• What capabilities must we have in place to win?
• What management systems are required to support our choices?
The stories of how P&G repeatedly won by applying this method to iconic brands such as Olay, Bounty, Gillette, Swiffer, and Febreze clearly illustrate how deciding on a strategic approach—and then making the right choices to support it—makes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning.
Greg McKeown is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" (Crown Business, April 2014). He has taught at companies that include Apple, Google, Facebook, Salesforce.com, Symantec, Twitter and VMware. He was recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
He has conducted research in the field of leadership, strategy and why people and teams thrive and why they don't. He is a blogger for Harvard Business Review and the Influencer Network on LinkedIn.
He also collaborated on the writing and research of the Wall Street Journal bestseller "Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter" (Harper Business, June 2010), "Bringing Out the Best in Your People" (Harvard Business Review, May 2010).
Prior to this research and teaching, Greg worked for Heidrick & Struggles' Global Leadership Practice assessing senior executives. His work included being a part of a year long project for Mark Hurd (then CEO of Hewlett Packard) assessing the top 300 executives at HP.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • More than one million copies sold! Essentialism isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. “A timely, essential read for anyone who feels overcommitted, overloaded, or overworked.”—Adam Grant
Have you ever:
• found yourself stretched too thin?
• simultaneously felt overworked and underutilized?
• felt busy but not productive?
• felt like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas?
If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.
Essentialism is more than a time-management strategy or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution toward the things that really matter.
By forcing us to apply more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy—instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.
Essentialism is not one more thing—it’s a whole new way of doing everything. It’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.
John Doerr is an engineer, acclaimed venture capitalist, and the chairman of Kleiner Perkins.
For 37 years, John has served entrepreneurs with ingenuity and optimism, helping them build disruptive companies and bold teams. In 2018, he authored Measure What Matters, a handbook for setting and achieving audacious goals. Through his book and platform, WhatMatters.com, he shares valuable lessons from some of the most fearless innovators of our time.
John was an original investor and board member at Google and Amazon, helping to create more than half a million jobs and the world’s second and third most valuable companies. He’s passionate about encouraging leaders to reimagine the future, from transforming healthcare to advancing applications of machine learning
#1 New York Times Bestseller! Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth—and how it can help any organization thrive.
In this goal-setting system, objectives define what we seek to achieve; key results are how those top-priority goals will be attained with specific, measurable actions within a set time frame. Everyone's goals, from entry level to CEO, are transparent to the entire organization.
The benefits are profound. OKRs surface an organization's most important work. They focus effort and foster coordination. They keep employees on track. They link objectives across silos to unify and strengthen the entire company. Along the way, OKRs enhance workplace satisfaction and boost retention
In Measure What Matters, Doerr shares a broad range of first-person, behind-the-scenes case studies, with narrators including Bono and Bill Gates, to demonstrate the focus, agility, and explosive growth that OKRs have spurred at so many great organizations. This book will help a new generation of leaders capture the same magic.
KARL E. WEICK is the Rensis Likert Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Organizational Behavior and Psychology at the University of Michigan. Weick received the Irwin Award and Best Article of the Year award from the Academy of Management. Fast Company's Senior Editor Keith Hammonds calls Weick "the smartest business thinker that you've never heard of."
KATHLEEN M. SUTCLIFFE is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Business and Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor Emerita of Business Administration at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. She was named Researcher of the year and has served on a National Academy of Science panel to assess the resilience of the Department of Homeland Security.
Managing the Unexpected, Third Edition is a thoroughly revised text that offers an updated look at the groundbreaking ideas explored in the first and second editions. Revised to reflect events emblematic of the unique challenges that organizations have faced in recent years, including bank failures, intelligence failures, quality failures, and other organizational misfortunes, often sparked by organizational actions, this critical book focuses on why some organizations are better able to sustain high performance in the face of unanticipated change. High-reliability organizations (HROs), including commercial aviation, emergency rooms, aircraft carrier flight operations, and firefighting units, are looked to as models of exceptional organizational preparedness. This essential text explains the development of unexpected events and guides you in improving your organization for more reliable performance.
David Gelles is the “Corner Office” columnist and a business reporter for the New York Times. Since joining the Times in 2013, he has written about CEOs, finance, technology, media, and more. He was part of the team that covered the fallout from the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max jets, work that won the 2020 Gerald Loeb Award for Breaking News Reporting. A student of Buddhism and a meditator for more than twenty years, David is an authority on the intersection of mindfulness and the business world. His 2015 book, Mindful Work: How Meditation is Changing Business from the Inside Out, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Before joining the Times, he was a reporter for the Financial Times. Learn more at David Gelles
In 1981, Jack Welch took over General Electric and quickly rose to fame as the first celebrity CEO. He golfed with presidents, mingled with movie stars, and was idolized for growing GE into the most valuable company in the world. But Welch’s achievements didn’t stem from some greater intelligence or business prowess. Rather, they were the result of a sustained effort to push GE’s stock price ever higher, often at the expense of workers, consumers, and innovation. In this captivating, revelatory book, David Gelles argues that Welch single-handedly ushered in a new, cutthroat era of American capitalism that continues to this day.
Gelles shows how Welch’s celebrated emphasis on increasing shareholder value by any means necessary became the norm in American business generally. He demonstrates how that approach has led to the greatest socioeconomic inequality since the Great Depression and harmed many of the very companies that have embraced it. And he shows how a generation of Welch acolytes radically transformed companies like Boeing, Home Depot, Kraft Heinz, and more. Finally, Gelles chronicles the change that is now afoot in corporate America, highlighting companies and leaders who have abandoned Welchism and are proving that it is still possible to excel in the business world without destroying livelihoods, gutting communities, and spurning regulation.
Matthew Luhn is a writer, story branding consultant, and keynote speaker with over 25 years of experience creating stories and characters at Pixar Animation Studios and beyond. Matthew’s story credits include Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc., Monsters University, Finding Nemo, UP, Cars, Ratatouille, and other films and TV shows currently in development. Alongside his story work in Hollywood, Matthew also trains CEOs, marketing teams, directors, and other professionals on how to craft and tell stories for Fortune 500 companies, Academy Award-winning movies, and corporate brands grossing billions of dollars worldwide. Matthew attended the world-renowned Character Animation department at Cal Arts in Los Angeles and holds a BFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He currently resides in Oakland, California
The Best Story Wins provides fresh perspectives on the principles of Pixar-style storytelling, adapted by one of the studio’s top creatives to meet the needs of entrepreneurs, marketers, and business-minded storytellers of all stripes. Pixar movies have transfixed viewers around the world and stirred a hunger in creative and corporate realms to adopt new and more impactful ways of telling stories. Former Pixar and The Simpsons Animator and Story Artist Matthew Luhn translates his two and half decades of storytelling techniques and concepts to the CEOs, advertisers, marketers, and creatives in the business world and beyond. A combination of Luhn’s personal stories and storytelling insights, The Best Story Wins retells the “Hero’s Journey” story building methods through the lens of the Pixar films to help business minds embrace the power of storytelling for themselves!
In early 1986, John began a new career providing leadership and sales management training to Twin Cities’ corporations from all industries. This is how and when John created QBQ! The Question Behind the Question. Throughout a decade of selling and facilitating training for executives and managers, he discovered the incredible need for personal accountability. In 1995, he chose to become a keynote speaker, titling his sessions “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!”—even though some people told him that “personal accountability isn’t a topic.”
QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life by John G. Miller
The QBQ! book is one you’ll want everyone you know to have—but you should read it first! Ever heard questions like these? Why do we have to go through all this change? When is someone going to train me? Why can’t we find good people? When will that department do its job right? Who dropped the ball? Why don’t they communicate better? Who’s going to solve the problem? If so, the QBQ! message of personal accountability is right for your organization—and maybe even for you, too. QBQ! is a quick 55-minute read, making it a marvelous book for the busy person—at work and at home. It is an excellent tool for teams, study groups, and as a giveaway at conferences. Full of fun, lighthearted, true-life stories, QBQ! and its message of personal accountability works equally well for corporations, academia, nonprofits, churches, and government organizations.
As Founder of JFlinch, Jamie Flinchbaugh has helped purpose-driven leaders craft effective, resilient organizations at over 300 companies. Leveraging more than 30-years of experience and helping build over 20 companies, Jamie collaborates with leaders and their teams to bridge capability, strategic, cultural, and systems gaps so that they can safely span potential pitfalls and have a purposeful impact on their organizations. Jamie has helped leaders across a wide spectrum of industries including healthcare, utilities, technology, consumer products, and professional services, including Harley-Davidson, Intel, Mars, Amazon, Crayola, Fidelity, Whirlpool, among many others. Jamie is the author of People Solve Problems, The Power of Every Person, Every Day, Every Problem and co-author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean, Lessons from the Road and is the co-host of the podcasts Lean Whiskey and Happy Heuristics.
Every person in every function of every organization is involved in solving problems. They show up in your email inbox, in meetings, in your own work. They are strategic and tactical, mundane and breakthrough, easy and difficult. Most organizations want to, and need to, improve their people’s problem-solving efforts, and so they offer them tools, templates, and training. Yet this is not where the leverage for impact is found.
People Solve Problems: The Power of Every Person, Every Day, Every Problem explores the real leverage to improve your problem solving. In the first section of the book, we explore the problem with problem solving, including both the value and limits of tools and templates. We also explore the marriage of problem solving and standards. Building on that start, People Solve Problems is built on four primary domains. After setting up the challenge, we start by exploring People-Centered Capabilities. These capabilities are tool agnostic, equally applicable to any chosen problem-solving method or no method at all. This includes a wide range of capabilities from creating problem statements to integrating intuition into problem solving.
Next, we cover Problem-Solving Culture. These chapters outline the culture needed in the organization or the personal behaviors you must master to be successful in problem solving. The behaviors explored range from deliberately learning through problem solving to building transparency, vulnerability, and trust.
In the third section, we dive into Success through Coaching. Problem solving is unlike other practices, training is incredibly insufficient, and coaching is the major driver of success. This section addresses the why, who, when, where, and of course the important how of coaching.
Finally, we explore the Role of the Leader, whether the CEO or a team leader, in building an environment where problem solving can thrive. The leader must be the architect of their problem-solving systems, a shaper of culture, and a framer of problems. Problem-solving effectiveness is critical to success for both the problems you already know about and those you have not yet experienced. People Solve Problems will you help you, and those you lead, to be more effective now and in the future.
Tim Brown is the CEO and president of IDEO. Ranked independently among the ten most innovative companies in the world, IDEO is the global consultancy that contributed to such standard-setting innovations as the first mouse for Apple and the Palm V. Today IDEO applies its human-centered approach to drive innovation and growth for the world's leading businesses, as well as for government, education, health care, and social sectors. Tim advises senior executives and boards of Fortune 100 companies and has led strategic client relationships with such corporations as Microsoft, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Steelcase.
Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, shows how the techniques and strategies of design belong at every level of business.
The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses. The reality is that most innovations come from a process of rigorous examination through which great ideas are identified and developed before being realized as new offerings and capabilities.
In this revised and updated edition of Change By Design, Tim Brown reintroduces design thinking, the collaborative process by which the designer’s sensibilities and methods are employed to match people’s needs with what is technically feasible and a viable business strategy. In short, design thinking converts need into demand. It’s a human-centered approach to problem-solving that helps people and organizations become more innovative and creative.
Change by Design is not a book by designers for designers; it is a book for creative leaders seeking to infuse design thinking into every level of an organization, product, or service to drive new alternatives for business and society.
Ed Schein is Professor Emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management. He was educated at the University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology. He worked at the Walter Reed Institute of Research for four years and then joined MIT, where he taught until 2005. In 2009 he published Helping, a book on the general theory and practice of giving and receiving help followed in 2013 by Humble Inquiry which explores why helping is so difficult in western culture, and which won the 2013 business book of the year award from the Dept. of Leadership of the University of San Diego.
Peter Schein is a strategy consultant in Silicon Valley. He provides help to start-ups and expansion-phase technology companies. Peter’s expertise draws on over twenty years of industry experience in marketing and corporate development at technology pioneers. Peter was educated at Stanford University (BA Social Anthropology, Honors and Distinction) and Northwestern University (Kellogg MBA, Marketing and Information Management, Top Student in Information Management), and the USC Marshall School of Business Center For Effective Organizations (HCEO Certificate, 2017).
This worldwide bestseller offers simple guidance for building the kind of open and trusting relationships vital for tackling global systemic challenges and developing adaptive, innovative organizations—over 200,000 copies sold and translated into seventeen languages!
We live, say Edgar and Peter Schein, in a culture of “tell.” All too often we tell others what we think they need to know or should do. But whether we are leading or following, what matters most is we get to the truth. We have to develop a commitment to sharing vital facts and identifying faulty assumptions—it can mean the difference between success and failure. This is why we need Humble Inquiry more than ever.
The Scheins define Humble Inquiry as “the gentle art of drawing someone out, of asking questions to which you do not know the answer, of building relationships based on curiosity and interest in the other person.” It was inspired by Edgar’s twenty years of work in high-hazard industries and the health-care system, where honest communication can literally mean the difference between life and death.
In this new edition the authors look at how Humble Inquiry differs from other kinds of inquiry, offer examples of it in action, and show how to overcome the barriers that keep us telling when we should be asking. This edition offers a deepening and broadening of this concept, seeing it as not just a way of posing questions but an entire attitude that includes better listening, better responding to what others are trying to tell us, and better revealing of ourselves. Packed with case examples and a full chapter of exercises and simulations, this is a major contribution to how we see human conversational dynamics and relationships, presented in a compact, personal, and eminently practical way.
Patrick Adams is an internationally recognized leadership coach, consultant, and professional speaker, best known for his unique human approach to sound team-building practices; creating consensus and enabling empowerment. He founded his consulting practice in 2018 to work with leaders at all levels and organizations of all sizes to achieve higher levels of performance. He motivates, inspires, and drives the right results at all points in business processes.
Avoiding the Continuous Appearance Trap: 12 Questions to Understand What's Truly Underneath Your Culture by Patrick Adams
Seeking the best way to understand your company’s operations and leadership, hoping to finally see what’s truly underneath your culture? Take a trip with business performance coach Patrick Adams inside two different cultures -- one you’d like to avoid and one you’d like to emulate -- and then ask yourself the right questions. The answers may lead you -- and your organization’s various stakeholders -- somewhere extraordinary.
Avoiding the Continuous Appearance Trap: 12 Questions to Understand What’s Truly
Underneath Your Culture is a transformational book that weaves together the stories of two companies that, on the surface, appear to be quite similar. Underneath, however, they couldn’t be more different. There is a devastating distinction between being a company dedicated to continuous improvement and being one that’s about “continuous appearance” instead. The 12 questions that Patrick Adams outlines in his debut book for business leaders give readers the ability to assess their operations. At last, a practical guide to better understanding your company’s leadership and culture.
Katie Anderson is an internationally recognized leadership coach, consultant, and professional speaker, best known for inspiring individuals and organizations to lead with intention. She founded her consulting practice in 2013 to work with leaders at all levels and organizations of all sizes to achieve higher levels of performance. She helps leaders to develop clarity of purpose and align their processes and behaviors in service of that purpose.
Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn: Lessons from Toyota Leader Isao Yoshino on a Lifetime of Continuous Learning a leadership book that defies generational or cultural divides, offering a refreshing, proven perspective for all those who dare to lead. Life is about looking back and reflecting upon experiences with the intention to look forward and envision where your life has the power to take you. Through each story, author Katie Anderson helps to share Isao Yoshino's experiences of leadership, learning, giving and empowering. Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn sheds light on what it means to weave a full life of purpose and intention - to pursue excellence and overcome challenges, to help others discover their best selves, and to develop our best selves at the same time.
Once described by Forbes Magazine as “The Man Who Would Save Healthcare,” Dr. John Kenagy knows healthcare as a physician, healthcare executive, scholar, advisor and, perhaps most importantly, a patient once deeply immersed in the healthcare system. As a critically-injured patient with a broken neck, Dr. Kenagy discovered that his recovery depended on the efforts of individuals working in a broken system. Determined to make a difference, he became a healthcare executive, but quickly discovered he was inundated with big, chronic problems that defied solution while physicians and staff struggled with the multitude of small problems that kept patients from getting what they needed. Ultimately he tackled the problem as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School, where he studied transformational, disruptive innovation and highly adaptable organizations. Companies like Toyota, Intel and Southwest showed him that it’s the ability to solve small problems first that makes it possible to manage complex, dynamic, unpredictable work - like the work of getting patients exactly what they need at continually lower cost.
Dr. Kenagy is Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington. He was formerly a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacy and Therapeutics at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. John Kenagy's book, Designed to Adapt: Leading Healthcare in Challenging Times, is formula for saving healthcare one problem at a time is termed "Adaptive Design"; a set of methods, skills and tools designed to get healthcare back to the ideals of patient care by cultivating adaptability into the everyday work of the organization and its people. Dr. Kenagy explains how. Here's a preview:
The secret to success in 21st century healthcare is no secret: Get patients exactly what they need at a continually lower cost. It's the way to fix healthcare.