(07)The study of mistakes

Many Japanese dislike making mistakes. they say that mistakes are bad things, so they ignore mistakes, and do not learn from mistakes.

”He made a mistake because of his carelessness, and He was lazy or an idiot.” this attitude has conceal many accidents happen. I can relate many famous examples, such as the Amagasaki rail crash, Tokaimura nuclear accident, and so on.

Some Japanese people started trying to change this thinking. they set up an academic conference research for the study of mistakes in 2002. In this conference people did research to prevent accidents. One researcher’s opinion is interesting. I will introduce Kenji Hayao’s opinion.

He said that there are three principles which people have to learn to prevent mistakes.

1.Everyone makes mistakes.
2.People often hide their mistake because they afraid to be criticized.
3.Do not criticise someone’s mistake, we have to get the facts and know the causes of accidents. Then we will have mechanisms to prevent mistakes.

He said if we do not learn these principles, There will be another tragedy in the near future.

I think the biggest problem in organizations is that member of organizations do not tell the truth. In many organizations people do not tell the truth because the atmosphere of the organization causes people to be silent. This is an atmosphere of blaming people who make mistakes. Organization leaders firstly have to change the atmosphere to prevent accidents.



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