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Kinds of Mistakes

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Kinds of Mistakes

Very often, crisis happen because of human error. So what is at the core of human error? I believe that mistakes are the core of human error. A mistake, is an err that results in defective judgement.

Unfortunately, we do not learn enough from our mistakes. We make the same mistakes over and over. Even organisations with many layers of protection, do just as badly as humans in making mistakes.

In this article, I try to explore the kinds of mistakes we make everyday. My hope is that by being aware of these various categories, we can approach mistakes with great humility.

In this classification I have benefitted from Scott Berkun ‘s work . As practicing Mistakeologist, I could not resist sharing this with you; hoping that you will learn from it, as I did.

Stupid Mistakes
These are absurdly dumb things that happen like falling over and over at the same spot. As troubled youth growing up in Africa, I nearly burnt down the village many times. Now, as I look back, I ask myself, what in the world was going on in my mind?

Simple Mistakes
These are avoidable mistakes but your sequence of decisions made them happen. Take for example, you are having wedding party and water stops flowing at your premises because you had not paid water bills for 3 months. Am sure we have all been there.

Involved Mistakes
Such mistakes are understood, but require some effort to reduce or prevent them. A good example is tardiness or always eating fatty foods, failing to keep exercise as advised by your physician.

Complex Mistakes:
Mistakes that have complicated causes and no obvious way to avoid them. Examples include relationships that fail, hostage crisis, workplace safety issues that involve several functional departments.

Here is the big question, which of these mistakes are you guilty of?