Is it always wrong to be wrong?

Sir Ken Robinson at The Creative Company Confe...

Sir Ken Robinson

There is a school of thought which suggests; we’re unlikely to have any success in planning for the future, especially when we’re so preoccupied with the thoughts and processes involved with living in the here and now.

In addition, because most of our actions and decisions are often formulated upon historical events, or our own personal past experiences, how can we logically expect to succeed with our aims or plans for the future?

I’ve partly alluded to this issue before (see here) however; most of the real problems we face today are simply born out of the way in which we are educated. That and the way in which we often measure personal ability solely by bits of paper outlining someones academic achievements.

Sir Ken Robinson has said that “schools kill creativity” and the lack of creativity is the root cause of so many of our current educational (or social and business) problems.Whilst delivering his entertaining and intellectual case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity, Robinson also suggests that being wrong isn’t always necessarily wrong per se.

But despite all the educational failings highlighted by Robinson, we are also living in a society that thrives upon the blame culture. We are usually far too quick to search for scapegoats, especially when things don’t necessarily go the way we planned or hoped they would.

I’ve often thought we are all too quick to castigate others for their actions or the decisions they make. But, if those decisions were correctly formulated, within all current guidelines and protocols that were in place at the time, and based upon all the information that was available to the ‘decision maker’ at the time that decision was made, shouldn’t we be more prepared to accept the outcomes, irrespective of whether or not they subsequently turn out to be personally acceptable?

Those that know me will confirm, I’ve never considered myself as an academic, in fact I would hurriedly shy away from such a description. No, I’m more of a realist, all be it a thinking one. I’ve always believed in the phrase; there are no such things as problems, they are simply solutions yet to be found. But finding solutions to problems also usually requires a level of creative thinking, that and some belief in your own ability.

Recently I came across a blog called Written by Erada, in it the author explains her raison d’être for blogging and perhaps even for life itself. She points out that her blog is a “story of someone battling” with intentions and “fearless (or perhaps naive) conviction” to get what she wants from life.

I am therefore I am: …You have to take your knowledge and your strengths and focus on them. Yes, weaknesses should be worked on but most of us, including myself, have been trained to put too much emphasis on our weaknesses rather than the other…(Erada)

Rightly, Erada possesses that healthy trait of self-belief, one that we all need a modicum of. Self-belief is often instrumental in our ultimate success however; when we lack a reasonable level of belief in ourself, can we honestly expect others to believe us? But self-belief is also a whole different ball game to those distasteful elements of self-importance and self-promotion, so prevalent in today’s society.

Erada’s philosophy about education vs. experience is also broadly similar to mine (and that of many others, not least Robinson) in that; college does not necessarily equal education, it is merely the initial process or conduit that assists us in our quest for knowledge. “For any person, regardless of age or sex, if you are thirsty for acquiring an education it is entirely at your discretion how you should acquire said knowledge.”

Being a leader or manager isn’t always the easiest of tasks. It’s also one of those roles that requires far more than academic ability alone. Sometimes decisions have to be made which won’t always be wholly acceptable to all those required to deal with their subsequent outcomes and aftermath.

As the person responsible for making those difficult decisions you have to ensure you make them correctly. They must be timely, informed and based upon all facts available to you at the time and be made for the greater good of all those concerned.

Remember and note well; it’s not just your career prospects at stake, they usually impact upon many more people than just you. Some of the current thought processes and decisions around Government austerity measures and the reforms and/or cuts to public services are a clear case in point.

It is never acceptable to go back on your word or totally change tack at the eleventh hour. Being in denial about past comments or previous statements of intent doesn’t change the facts about your original plans, especially if they were in the public domain. All these poor attempts to save face, or to perpetuate political self-preservation will come back to haunt you.

In short, it’s not always wrong to be wrong, just so long as you were wrong for the right reasons, and you are big enough to admit to it. If you’re eventually found to be lacking in any of your decision-making processes beware the baying hounds of public discontent, they will eventually hunt you down!

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About Dave Hasney

National Coordinator for UK SMART Recovery - Previously a Recovery Worker and prior to that a Management Consultant and H&S Practitioner - Kept sane by Angling, Good Food, Real Ale & Wine - Cynical thoughts sometimes developed from others.

Posted on 12-09-2012, in Leadership & Management, Public Service Babble, Society Babble and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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