Recently a participant in one of our sessions said that she learned as much from all the mistakes she’s made on the job as she has from doing things right. That got me thinking. She’d been in the organization, a national retailer with 1,000s of stores, for a long time and was recently promoted to an even more significant position. Certainly if she’s making mistakes someone’s noticed. More importantly, they also understood that there was value in the missteps. To truly grow in a position and more broadly for a company to become stronger and more competitive this is an important message. Failure is feedback. Learn from your mistakes. Get better from those experiences. Not all retailers embrace this value as part of their culture. For those that do, there is a significant advantage for them. Mistakes create learning moments. Innovation often comes from ‘mistakes’. Creativity and trust are strengthened through efforts that fall short but are not punished. It seems that ‘Forgiveness’ is a corporate value that more companies should embrace. Learning from shortfalls can be a very good thing. Share your reaction to this blog here in comments or tweet us @mohrretail.


About Michael Patrick

Michael held positions in retail management, merchandising, and human resources before joining MOHR Retail’s predecessor in 1986. In 1990 he purchased the retail division of that firm to form today’s MOHR Retail. Michael holds true to his retail roots by delivering learning that changes behavior—providing both immediate and lasting business impact. In addition to facilitating MOHR Retail training programs, he offers executive-level coaching in one-on-one sessions dealing with critical strategic issues such as succession strategies and executive team development. The author of “The New Negotiation Mindset: Guarantee A Bigger Slice,” Michael is a longstanding member of NRF as well as ISA: The Association of Learning Providers. He has a B.A. from San Diego State University, completed Master’s level work at Arizona State University, and lives with his family in New Jersey.