Last week I was walking past a small local warehouse when I overheard a conversation taking place between what looked like one of the supervisors and a storeman. They were ‘debating’ what had happened to some lost stock – something about someone not recording the paperwork properly.
It was an innocuous conversation really, but it struck a chord with me. I knew, because I used to work in that sort of environment, that the same conversation was probably taking place in hundreds of warehouses, large and small, across my city that day. They took place yesterday, and they would take place the next day. Ad infinitum.
The repetitiveness of this type of situation raises the question: If many people in workplaces spend a lot of time fixing problems, why is it that the same problems keeping reappearing, over and over and over again?
The answer is simple: because organisations rarely learn from their mistakes.