Revisit Mistakes to Boost Brainpower

Starbucks brewed winning coffees, and drew many of us together, to brew similar successful ventures. Then, after recession struck and customers lacked the $4.00 daily fix, they nearly crashed.

That’s before Howard Schultz set out to reboot Starbuck’s success.

Revisit Mistakes to Boost Brainpower

To turnaround mistakes,  Starbucks spotted brainpower in five areas:

  • Admit you blew it – Anger, fear, and frustration fuel harmful cortisol chemical hormones that stops success, while admitting errors stems its flow in brains.
  • Pop a novel fix – Venting curbs brainpower and creates neuron pathways to  more  complaints. Novelty adds the opposite for increased intelligence.
  • Push brainpower buttons – Buy-in from community and clients benefits from multiple intelligences for a winning array of answers.
  • Create rather than criticize.  Cynical or critical mindsets block creativity, limit talent and stomp out innovation. Creativity jolts brainpower for a better way.
  • Ride shotgun for risks.   Encouragement changes the chemistry of brains through raised serotonin levels, and fuels new risk-taking for profitability.

What else can your workplace do to turn mistakes into stepping stones for success?

This article appeared on SmartBrief on Workforce – Friday, July 25, 2010

8 Comments

  1. John Soares says:

    Interesting that I’m reading this in Starbucks!

    And that I’m a former Starbucks stock owner. (Too spencie now…)

    Greatly appreciate the advice to learn from mistakes and move past them.

  2. eweber says:

    John, you are just the kind of thinker that helps us all to do just that! My own Starbucks coffee is brewed and this idea came to me on a day when I too needed its brainpower.

    In my days out west, it was Starbucks or bust! Great to meet you John, and may your day rock with new ways forward for a finer future!

  3. John Soares says:

    Ellen, I live in the rural West, so rural that the nearest Starbucks is about 60 miles away, so I only enjoy that coffee when I’m traveling. Meanwhile I make do with our local Mount Shasta area coffee houses and brewing my own.

  4. eweber says:

    Cool – mine is Wegman’s coffee now that I am here in the east. Not many coffees could stand up to Starbucks for the BC coffee drinker. Wegman’s coffee made the grade and then some!

    So glad we java junkies can still find a good fix! :-)

  5. ellen.
    Thank you.
    Having facilitated with you people sometimes think they should avoid mistakes and focus only on success from brain rich environments.
    By accepting the mistake and working to find solutions new ideas are made.
    I also like having people think about exceptions to the mistake, times when success happened and to explore what was different. How was the environment different what happened before and after the mistake, what did you eat, attempting to re-create the exception to find what can be re-placed or removed to find a solution to the mistake.

  6. eweber says:

    Thanks Mike, I love your statement: By accepting the mistake and working to find solutions new ideas are made.

    It’s also what I see alive and well in your work to build stronger teams! I hope it is the stuff of MITA renewal for all leaders and learners.

    Want to think more about the delightful reflective nature of your final statement here. Would that be kin to asking folks to share strategic moments when leadership really did build a prosperous – care – community? Thoughts?

  7. Hi Ellen,

    I think asking some great questions in a non-judgmental and curious way following a mistake is a great way to start. How about something like: “What have we learned that we can use in the future?”

  8. eweber says:

    Mary Jo – the 1st step in the MITA Brain Based Model is to ask a 2-footed question, and your example here is the perfect illustration of what a wise question can build!

    One foot acknowledges the error without judgment, and the other foot applies what is learned to create a finer future!

    Hey Mary Jo — can I join your organization? :-) Thanks for saying it better than me!

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