Idea of the Month: Never waste a mistake

A simple and powerful way to describe a learning culture


This month’s idea comes from Stockport. I heard about it from Kate Fitzhugh, the Principal Lead for Transformation at Stockport Family, a new, fully integrated children’s service. Part of Stockport Family’s success comes from using a handful of short sayings that represent their approach to each other and to families.

At a training event, people were talking about their desire to learn from each other and from times when things do not go right, when one person summed it up for them in four words – ‘never waste a mistake.’

This became one of their stock phrases. It turns the concept of a mistake as something to be ashamed of and not discussed into something of value that should not be wasted. In all the work on learning cultures and quality improvement, I haven’t seen or heard anything so simple yet so powerful.

Coming soon

We’ll be profiling Stockport Family, their journey and amazing work later this month. If you want to receive an alert about it, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Twitter.

Stockport Family
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