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Plan On Failing

When your employees screw up-and they will-how should you deal with it?

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This story appears in the January 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What happens when someone in your organization makes a mistake? Do people trip all over themselves trying to cast blame or do they fix the problem and move on? In The Accountability Revolution: Achieve Breakthrough Results in Half the Time! (IMPAQ Publishing), author Mark Samuel recommends "recovery planning"-concentrating on correcting problems rather than punishing culprits.

Samuel says you should create an environment of , not comfort. Comfortable workers are unlikely to be creative, take risks or try new things, because that would make them uncomfortable. By contrast, employees who feel safe can embrace change without fear of punishment if they make mistakes.

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