Nothing New Under the Sun
If you have been reading these blogs for awhile you will notice the recurring response of readers "that sounds just like my job" or "I know someone exactly like that." In that very observation lies the value of reading blogs like these.
Recently I was speaking to a laboratorian who was so sure one of my blogs pertained to her own laboratory that she even identified the major players by name. The only problem was, she was wrong; in fact, the blog was based on a client in a non-laboratory department. But recognizing there is nothing new under the sun, I immediately saw its application to a laboratory setting.
The most successful organizations are good learners and continually assess and use information from within as well as from others external to the organization. It is not sufficient to point out the failures in your organization or crow that your organization is not as bad as another; it is more important to learn from your failures and those of others.
One thing an organization can do is regularly assess what's working and what's not, and then make changes accordingly. This is learning from experience and it depends on rigorously facing reality. They can look at the experience of others and learn to avoid costly mistakes or use coping and recovery strategies others have used.
Studies have shown the main reason high fliers in business fail to learn is they never admit to making any mistakes. Someone or something else is always to blame. Being defensive is a sure way to avoid learning--and success!