The case of Sir James Dyson demonstrates that the opportunity or freedom to make mistakes is vitally important for learning for the following reasons. First, learning from one’s mistakes is the fastest way of learning, and one should trust their mistakes rather than their experience as Dyson has learned when he was working for Jeremy Fry. Second, each improvement in the thing that one is doing comes as a result of correcting a mistake: for instance, in Dyson’s case, he upgraded his vacuum cleaner each time when he identified a mistake, which has made the model much better than the initial project (Nelson & Quick, 2012, p. 232).
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As Sir James Dyson has shown, if one is allowed to make mistakes, it also leads to the improvement of their performance. The reason for such a relation is that, when a person has enough independence to make mistakes, it means that they also have enough independence to correct their mistakes, and they are responsible for the final result. It makes them motivated to learn from mistakes and strive to improve the overall result. When Jeremy Fry put Dyson in charge of manufacturing, he knew this relation and knew that Dyson’s performance level would be high (Nelson & Quick, 2012, p. 232).
As well as pretty much everyone in our society, Sir James Dyson surely knows about the problems with employment that recent college graduates often face, especially the dilemma between a high-paid but not an interesting job and a job related to their passion. To my belief, Dyson would advise college graduates to avoid the former and choose the latter. Using his case as an example, Dyson would tell them that their success at their job depends on their motivation and hard work. At an uninteresting job, motivation is low, and it is not easy to make oneself work hard while a favorite job would keep motivation and performance on a high level.
Sir James Dyson could give valuable advice to the professionals, who are responsible for training employees and evaluating their performance. His advice could contain the following recommendations:
- value and respect the freshness of the sight of the employees since they can discover or do something the experienced professionals could not do;
- give them some room for making mistakes and an opportunity to correct these mistakes by themselves, without help, since it is the only way for them to learn well and quickly.
Nelson, D., & Quick, J.C. (2012). Organizational behavior: Science, the real world, and you (8th ed.). Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning.