But how do we minimise the risk of making preventable mistakes?
The first thing to say is that we live in an imperfect world and whether we like it or not mistakes will always happen. So we can’t completely eliminate mistakes, but we can very much minimise the risk of them occurring by using good Processes, relevant Experience and wise Sounding Boards.
Processes – good businesses are always strong on systems and processes, they not only deliver efficiency and maintain quality standards, they also help to identify mistakes before they occur or cause damage. A simple example is a check process such as proofreading of a book – the author may have written and read it, but a fresh pair of eyes will pick up mistakes the author has failed to notice. This simple ‘4 eyes’ principle is a great simple and effective way of avoiding mistakes and can be applied in many areas of a business.
Experience – none of us are blessed with the gift of hindsight, unfortunately, however there is something nearly as powerful that could and should be used in all businesses, that something is experience. So if you are looking to do something you haven’t done before, whilst no one can be absolutely certain of the outcome, someone who has done a similar thing before has a better chance of assessing the likely outcome and can undoubtedly help you avoid some of the pitfalls they encountered and mistakes they made.
Sounding Boards – I often just sit and listen to a business owner talking about his or her business, what they are doing, the issues they have, their plans and so on. They do most of the talking and I interject and respond every now and again with a view, a fact, an observation, a warning, a clarification, an expansion of a point and so on. I will know more than he or she in some areas and less in others, that’s not material, the fact is I’m a second opinion, a fresh perspective, a devil’s advocate, and independent view – and between us we always come up with a better plan of action than either could have done separately and always identify and avoid some pitfalls and mistakes. So 3 simple, practical and effective ways to minimise the risk of mistakes, next week we will look at how to recover from a mistake if it does happen.
Looking for a fresh pair of eyes?
If you’re looking to do something you haven’t done before or just feel you’d benefit from a fresh perspective, we would be very happy to have an initial exploratory discussion about your board development and how NXD could fit in. Please schedule a call on 01483 212892 or contact us here>>>