Blunders - Mistakes

When we work at the cutting edge of science, the realm of innovative products, we are bound to make mistakes. No mistakes means we're not pushing hard enough. But novices are loathe to admit mistakes. They are still building their credentials.

So we make the decisions bite-sized. Smaller decisions mean smaller mistakes. Novices feel more comfortable pushing the boundaries. Part of the compulsories+ is making and owning up to mistakes.

Of course there are limits. We expect a certain level of technical expertise before anyone can join our whale hunt. Mistakes are fine at the cutting edge of science, but less so in well-established science. And as novices grow we expect them to show they are making fewer mistakes, based on a greater intrinsic understanding of the science.

Senior level mistakes are for very senior level decisions: those that affect the viability of the enterprise. Only a very few will be enough for a change in management. We expect consequences to be commensurate with the importance of the decisions.

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