Do we judge an organisation on its ability to get things right first time, or on its ability to make things right quickly and creatively? I suspect the latter, because we give no credit to those who merely do what is expected of them.
I’ve taken up the cases of several students concerned about their results and their resits. In two cases, those results were simply wrong and – despite this being the holiday season – my colleagues have quickly corrected these mistakes. (Nobody’s perfect: this includes individuals, organisations and systems; but everyone should be striving to improve.) The relief has been palpable.
The lesson from this is that organisations need to empower those in customer- (or student-) facing roles to apply commonsense, think creatively and take decisions. This is harder than it sounds.
The cynical thought is that organisations can gain credit by making deliberate mistakes in order to quickly and publicly correct them. Is this why there are so many product recalls?