Does your company culture allow mistakes

A few months ago I wrote down some thoughts about failure, our fear of failure and our ability (inabilty) to embrace it.

The other day I was talking to a founder in our portfolio.

They made a mistake inside of their orgnazation and everyone knew it. I was processing this issue with the founder and trying to better understand what happened so I could try to be a sounding board and also get my arms around the issues. 

After chatting about it for a bit this founder told me that he’s happy the team made the mistake.

Yes, the mistake was unfortunate but he wants a company culture where people feel supported to experiment and try out new things even if they don’t work out. 

That conversation hit me square between the eyes.

It’s too easy and tempting for managers or board members to try and fix any problem that shows up with typical questions like : Why did that happen? Is he/she the right person to be running that team? Is he/she scaling? 

But this founders philosophy resonated with me big time. And I’ll take it with me forever. Building the right culture is critical. And so are making mistakes.