What is the cost of a screwup?

Do you run your own business or manage one? Do you screw up? I do too. But, not that often. When I try new things, or am too overwhelmed to be able to attend to things — screw ups happen. Generally the screw up is that the person I hired didn’t do what they were supposed to and didn’t give a damn either. I am too busy to babysit people. So, those that screw up are at the bottom of my list.

So, there are different classifications of screw ups. There are experimental screw ups where you try a new approach and see if it works. If not, you learn something. If you invest too much in going the wrong direction, then you lose big. There are hiring screw ups which are far more common. If you test people out over several months to see if they do good work and don’t lose interest, there will be fewer screw ups. Then there are major screw ups where your data got compromised or you lost a key employee due to an argument that would have better gone un-argued.

My main point of this quickie article is to keep screw ups small. It is okay to screw up, especially during experimentation. In fact, I wouldn’t even call an experiment, or trying something new a screw up if the results weren’t good. I would call it a success because you succeeded in learning what not to do next time. Until next time — I have things to screw up.

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