"A common injunction of self-help and management advice over recent years has been to 'make more mistakes'. In the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal and the credit crunch, enthusiasm for such bravado has evaporated, with some justification. Even the diluted version – that we all just have to accept, like grown adults, that mistakes will be made – is far too simplistic. Making mistakes is neither a virtue nor a vice in itself. Everything depends on the nature of the mistake: in particular, why it was made and what the alternatives were..."A guest essay for the think tank Demos. Free to download here.