On Sunday morning three high school students were anxiously waiting for their science experiment to be lifted into orbit on board a SpaceX rocket that was scheduled to deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). The students had been waiting for this day for eight months. Eight months ago the same students from North Charleston, South Carolina had watched as their experiment was launched on board an Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia. Just a few seconds after liftoff the rocket had exploded knocking one of the students off of his feet and giving off a tremendous blast of heat. This time would be different. Surely lightning wouldn’t strike twice?
We often hear about the importance of failure when driving new ideas or new businesses. We’re given advice to Fail Early, Fail Often, and Fail Cheap. While this well-meaning advice is accurate on the whole the reality is that failure in most organizations comes with pretty heavy consequences. Within mature organizations a failed initiative can have a dramatic impact for both the individual and the long term success of organization itself.
We are excited to announce a truly unique one day conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota – The Phoenix Rising Event! A day focused on strengthening our local community of entrepreneurs and innovators by addressing the fear, stigma, and shame of failure head on. Please mark your calendars and join us on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015.
Yesterday Target Corporation announced that it was closing its 133 Canadian stores. This announcement comes less than two years after they launched their first Canadian stores in March 2013. According to Target CEO Brian Cornell the decision came down to the fact that it would take six more years before they would see a profit on their Target Canada subsidiary.
Is your organization struggling to drive new innovation initiatives? The culprit may be that your employees are too afraid to fail. When talking with organizations I often hear the same refrain – we want our people to innovate but they won’t step forward to lead new innovation initiatives. Earlier this year I consulted with a company that was struggling with the same problem. The organization had been around for over 25 years and just a couple of years earlier a new CEO was brought in from Silicon Valley. The new CEO saw a lot of potential within the organization but too much of that potential was locked up behind department silos or trapped in the mindset of how things had always been done. He wanted his people to be free to innovate and drive the next wave of ideas and opportunity for the organization but after two years he wasn’t seeing the results he had hoped for.
When Failure Is Your Starting Point There Is Nowhere to Go but Up. Are you the type of person that’s always looking for a good challenge? Here’s one for you to consider: We want you to provide financial literacy and entrepreneurial training to one of the poorest communities in your state. In fact, it’s also one of the poorest communities in the nation. The community of nearly 9,000 people doesn’t own land for homes or businesses. In many instances the people there have no credit score. Less than 1 percent of the businesses in the community are owned by a community member, and more than 47 percent of the jobs in the community are not in the private sector, but are government-related. Are you up for the challenge? It’s exactly what Tanya Fiddler took on when she became executive director of the Four Bands Community Fund, which serves the members of the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.
We hear it so often that it has become cliché. Small companies are nimble and move quickly where as large companies can muster significant resources but are slow to respond to emerging threats and opportunities. In response to their admitted slow pace many big companies have focused their attention on acquisitions as a way to mitigate threats and infuse new growth opportunities into their business.
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