The Project Manager and the Importance of Being Wrong


We live in the era of absolute certainty; We born and grew up into a system where thecultural and academic adjustment – according to which society or the dominant intelligentsia think is right, of course – is awarded and the ‘error’ is punished with low grades at school, where concepts remain hard right and wrong, success and failure. Education systems, in general, are embedded in a culture that stifles and stigmatizes the error because the focus is in the result rather than focus on the process.

Rewarding the formal perfectionism and punish those who did not fill into this scheme is a subtle and cruel form of social control. It also creates an ‘invisible cage’ which limits our ability to think and act differently than mainstraim for fear,rightly, of making mistakes.We forget, however, that every mistake we learn more about our attempt which led to failure, learned not to tread the path, we deduce, at least in part, the right way.The error should therefore be seen as a creative discovery of new paradigms and possibilities.

We, project managers also suffer the syndrome of always right, or just so accustomed to face our daily tasks. We used to estimate timelines, tasks and costs for projects that often go beyond  what was planned. In this case, the project is gone out of control for reasons beyond our sphere of management or our assumptions, since from the beginning were wrong? Would he ever admit someday that we are fallible by nature? Below, an excellent presentation by Kathryn Schulz on the importance of being wrong:

Being correct is critical to the success of any enterprise, but when we make some mistakes, we must give ourselves the chance of finding new ways We would expect that will never exist.

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