Error culture in companies: 8 tips for less perfection [+ values ​​checklist]

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Text comes from: Die Macht der versteckten Signale: Wortwahl - Körpersprache - Emotionen. Nonverbale Widerstände erkennen und überwinden (2014) by Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka, Gabriele Schranz, published by Linde Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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How will an error culture in Company possible? In the following two texts, we want to show the values ​​that determine the development of an error culture.

Error culture in companies: 8 tips for less perfection [+ values ​​checklist] Fehlererkultur002

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Here writes for you:

Gabriele Schranz SchranzGabriele Schranz is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG; Vienna - Zurich.


Here writes for you:

Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka cerwinkaDr. Gabriele Cerwinka is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG.


From the author:

Best of HR Berufebilder


Best of HR Berufebilder


Best of HR Berufebilder


Error culture depends on values

The error culture in one Company always strongly correlates with the values ​​that prevail in a company.

If these are positive in terms of values ​​and weaknesses, then mistakes in a company are also handled positively. Conversely, a negative view of mistakes hinders the culture of mistakes in the company.

Dangers of perfectionism

One of the greatest dangers is precisely because of this demanded errorlessness to concentrate on one's own weaknesses as the cause of these errors and above all the weaknesses permanently to work and not the strengths in the focus.

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A suitable fault culture relaxes this concentration on mistakes, by all the participants receive instruments for handling mistakes and thus take the terrible and overpowering.

Focus on your strength

Focus on the strengths: Our economic life is characterized by the claim of always delivering an impeccable service. The power pressure is enormous and errors do not fit into the picture. But that carries risks.

There is still room to concentrate on our own strengths and thus to ensure long-term survival in the market.

Strengthening self-responsibility

In a positive culture of error, a great deal of responsibility is transferred to individual employees at each individual hierarchical level.

Every employee is held to absolute alertness. Even small signals should be perceived and forwarded.

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8 tips for a corporate culture of error

You can promote this positive corporate culture of error by following the following tips:

  1. Positive view: Nobody wants a mistake. Nevertheless, they happen. The question is how to handle it, what to do with it. Errors are therefore rated positively and as triggers for positive change processes.
  2. Development for the better: The company's ultimate goal is the continuous development and the recognition of a mistake as an opportunity for this further development. It is not about a sudden and radical reorientation, it is more about a process of change in small steps.
  3. Less error than goal: From this claim derives the subgoal, namely the reduction of errors and the prevention of recurring errors. Despite all positive views on mistakes, it is always about making as few mistakes as possible and identifying any weak points. The main goal is to find solutions to avoid the mistake in the future.
  4. Errors are part of the whole: Mistakes are accepted as a fixed, unavoidable component of human action. Perfection thinking and above all a zero-error tolerance are considered counterproductive.
  5. Clear rules of the game: As described in the previous chapter, the spontaneous human reactions to one's own and another's mistakes are not always constructive. To steer the individual behavior of everyone on the right path, clear rules of the game are required. Clear rules give grip and safety. Everyone knows how to act, and non-compliance can refer to these rules. They are based on an agreement between all parties involved.
  6. Honesty: In the company it is always possible to admit mistakes. Only those who are not afraid of negative consequences will also be able to openly stand for their mistakes. This standard requires a high degree of maturity from the community.
  7. Fear Down: Deep feelings are usually sitting like fear and shame. Only those who have the experience that instead of negative reactions constructive feedback stands and disarms honesty, thus pays for itself, this norm will be able to live. Any minor violation of this standard, however, makes the participants fall back into old patterns.
  8. No guilty search: It's not about denouncing those responsible for the occurrence of a mistake. Finding the cause of an error is more important and more helpful in the future than searching for the cause.


Anyone who wants to promote or at least improve a positive culture of error in the company, would do well to implement these tips and send a clear signal to his employees.

How exactly this works, you will learn in the other parts of our series.

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