How Change Happens

It’s got to be something special when the Wall Street Journal and NBC News agree on something and that happened this weekend.

Courtesy WSJ, 2018

On Saturday, the WSJ headlined a story about The Overprotected American Child. On Sunday, NBC News ran a story about making playgrounds for children more adventurous as a way of encouraging creativity and resilience.

Resilience teaches us that facing up to our challenges is the surest way to strengthen our capacity for success. It’s not just about the creative part of the exercise but the opportunity to experience failure.

Just the other day, I was talking to a client who manages quality care functions for a health care company. He mentioned that their focus is on getting health care workers to “self-report” errors so that they learn from these mistakes and avoid the problems in the future. He pointed out, however, that most people do not want to admit their failures so they tend to cover things up and hope for the best…until the quality auditors come in.

Helping children to experience risk and mistakes in controlled environments prepares this next generation to embrace their errors and learn from them which is a lesson that the overprotected children of the last 40 years have not quite gotten yet.

Your job this week is to encourage someone who has made a mistake to own it and see it as his or her opportunity for learning.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2018


1 thought on “How Change Happens

  1. When my kids were in elementary school I approached the playground committee and advocated for “adventure playground” which offered kids a chance to play creatively in nature with found objects etc. These playgrounds are popular in England. They nixed the idea.
    But I see in Pgh it looks like the Environmental School has the great outdoors as a playground!

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