As you can probably guess, I am not a fan of making the same mistake twice. I am not sure that really makes me unique. And I really hate that preventable mistakes happen repeatedly.

There are tons of reasons that mistakes happen. One of the reasons is inexperience. Mistakes caused by inexperience are understandable. Learning from mistakes can be one of the best ways to learn if the mistakes don’t have horrific consequences.

The flip side of mistakes caused by inexperience, are mistakes caused by overconfidence and inattention to detail. These are understandable too, but harder to tolerate. There should be more safeguards in place to guard against these kind of errors.

Pre-flight checklists are good for this kind of activity. But can you build pre-flight checklists for every activity. Obviously, for activities that are done repeatedly and mistakes are costly this kind of process that makes sense.

But for activities that don’t meet this threshold it is a much trickier calculation. Do you have enough experience to create good checklists? Can you design a flow that works with the checklist? And most importantly, can you remember to use the checklists?

Mistakes are a natural part of life and they are going to happen. Some mistakes are potentially tragic and costly, while others may turn into happy accidents.

Designing information flows and processes to reduce preventable mistakes seems like a good place to start.