Inevitably, no matter how many fail-safe systems you put into place, mistakes are going to happen. How would you have responded to the Big Mistake during the 89th Oscars? And what are some of the lessons we can all learn from this story?
Here’s a quick recap: the final moments of the 2017 Academy Awards event were upended by a remarkable mix-up where Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the presenters for best picture award, mistakenly announced that LaLa Land was the winner. Of course, minutes later, we all found out that the real winner was Moonlight.
The reaction in the Dolby Theater and with viewers around the world? Shock and confusion for those watching mixed with mild chaos on stage. Even Hollywood couldn’t dream up this story line. We were watching live and at first, it seemed like just one of the many pranks that had been happening during the program. Until reality set in.
While the story on stage has a bittersweet ending, the rest of the story is still unfolding. How could such a Big Mistake happen despite “fail-safe” processes? What adjustments to the process need to be made going forward? What will happen to the trusting long-time partnership between the Academy and their accounting firm? And how can the accounting firm bounce back stronger than ever despite damage to their brand? Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, there are at least three lessons we can all take from this story:
Lesson 1: The bigger the mistake, the more important it is to stay present in the moment. Improvisational mastery is critical for every leader.
Lesson 2: There is always more to the story. Especially when the answer seems obvious, we need to be willing to look beyond the surface in order to effectively address mistakes.
Lesson 3: Within every mistake is at least one opportunity to strengthen resilience.
To dig deeper into these lessons, listen to Episode 109 of Growth Igniters Radio With Pam Harper and Scott Harper®: Mistakes Happen – How to Use Them to Strengthen Your Organization’s Resilience.