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Will Your Next Mistake Be Fatal? by Robert Mittelstaedt

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7. Mistakes as Catalysts for Cultural Change

“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country, and have talked with the best people in business administration. I can assure you on the highest authority that data processing is a fad and won’t last out the year.”

—Editor in charge of business books at Prentice-Hall Publishers, c. 195768

One of the difficulties with mistakes is that they are often grounded with “certainty” in good intentions. As we have seen in a number of examples, overconfidence often develops because an individual or organization has avoided bad results in the past. Jolting organizations out of an experience-induced comfort zone and asking them to radically change their culture is a very difficult task, and it usually ...

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