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Mistakes: People Will Find Us Out - #SocialBIM Episode 7

Everyone makes mistakes. But very few people own up to them in construction. It’s because we’re scared of feeling inadequate or losing reputation. To collaborate effectively in a building information modelling (BIM) environment, we need to share our mistakes to ensure that others can learn from them. Here, Su Butcher explores our fear of making mistakes …and how that may lead to even bigger ones.

“When implementing BIM, we’ll be working more closely with other professionals and we may want to avoid showing up any lack of knowledge that we have” explains Su. “But the thing is if we really want to implement collaborative working, we actually have to measure our successes; which means admitting to our mistakes and owning up to them”.

"Mistakes mean learning”

The fact is that everyone makes mistakes and we are all learning. BIM and the broader digital approaches to construction are bringing new techniques, technologies and processes into our industry and we are still finding our feet with them.

Some people publically share their mistakes on blogs or social media to encourage wider learning and demonstrate thought leadership about how to improve next time. “Instead of making you look stupid and foolish, you actually look more intelligent and more useful” says Su. “Mistakes are good, because mistakes mean learning”.

A powerful example in this video is the Red Arrow de-brief process after a sortie. Squadron Leader’s open these sessions by describing every mistake they make during the sortie. This effectively grants the wider team space and freedom to admit their own mistakes and learn from them.

When you next make a mistake – and fear someone finding out about it – why not consider how you can learn more and who you can share that learning with?

To practice what we preach, we have included some of Su’s mistakes from the filming sessions at the end of this video!

Please let us know what you think using #SocialBIM. You can also talk to Su directly @SuButcher or visit her at

This video is part of a wider series looking at how we can help people adopt collaborative working for BIM in small ways:

Episode 5 – Collaborative Working for BIM
Episode 6 – Conversations: People Will Talk
Episode 8 – Sharing: People Will Use Our Stuff 

Make sure you’re subscribed to our free YouTube channel to be notified with each video release.

You can catch-up on all the previous episodes in our #SocialBIM series, including 1-4 in this playlist.

This video was kindly sponsored by 4Projects. Find out more about them here.

Filmed at Herman Miller National Design Centre, London.

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