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Rick Ross

Affirmative answers to the question "Can you make a mistake around here?" strongly correlate with innovative environments. This connection is easy to explain. An openness to ideas and mistakes, directly corresponds to employee engagement and job satisfaction.

Bob Sutton

Nick,

I haven't read Decision Points, but further fact checking indicates that, at his last press conference, Bush did admit mistakes; see this http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/24/AR2006042400850.html. But his reputation for not admitting mistakes -- deserved or not -- was solidified by his earlier actions, as mentioned in the article. Also, see this interesting NYT article on the challenge of admitting failure without being seen as a failure, quite interesting (and it does present more evidence to your point that Larry might be understating Bush's willingness to admit error). http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/14/weekinreview/14green.html

Nick Campbell

I haven't finished reading Decision Points, but from the parts I have and interviews I've seen like his with Matt Lauer, Bush has admitted mistakes. For instance, in the interview he had mentioned how he wish he had acted on Katrina faster regardless of Louisianna's lack of request for aid. It almost seems more that these men (I haven't read Blair's memoirs but I've read Allister Campbell's diaries go over Blair extensively) are defending their principles, not their mistakes. Without more context to why Prusack feels the way he does, I can't say I agree with him.

Plus it makes me wonder how he (or you) would address those who say learning from mistakes is a bad idea to some extent like the guys behind 37Signals.

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