Looking through the list of 101 dumbest moments in business on CNN Money – there is definitely a lot that public relations practitioners can learn. But which of us has never made a mistake? A quick look through famous quotations shows us, most great minds feel to err is a good thing:
- “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw
- “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” – Danish physicist, Niels Bohr
- “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act III
- “Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.” – Confucius
Of course companies should not deliberately make errors – and some particularly dumb examples could easily be avoided. But perhaps it is time to debunk the myth of rational management and recognise that things will go pear-shaped sometimes. Only that way can businesses be allowed to try new things and learn from their mistakes.