I see patterns. Fear not, this isn’t the introduction to a new M. Night Shyamalan movie but I do enjoy opportunities where I can connect the dots. Maybe it is the linear, logical, left –brain, former programmer in me but I relish when I find patterns that emerge across different disciplines, groups, organizations, etc. Five years ago I was part of a public policy group that mixed professionals from different worlds – for-profit, nonprofit, government, education, etc. The goal of the program was to advance public policy awareness and build public policy leadership. What I quickly recognized was that many of the same issues that were challenging me in the “for-profit innovation arena” were also plaguing these other groups. The challenges of funding, personal & organizational risk, managing expectations, and the fear or failure were consistent. There were some nuances but there was far more similarity that difference.
The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is hosting their 2015 Nonprofit Communicators Workshop Series and it is focused on a great topic: Risk, Innovation, and the Role of Failure! The event is being held on October 20th, 2015 from 9:00 am – 11:00 am at the Wilder Center in St. Paul. Join us!
I will be presenting “Innovation, Risk & the Role of Failure – Innovating the in Non-profit Community” at the upcoming Community Agency Executives Retreat for non-profits funded by the Greater Twin Cities United Way.
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.
Most startups will fail. Everyone in the startup community knows that failure is a more common occurrence than success. Silicon Valley has become so enamored by the “value of failure” that rumors suggest they are considering handing out merit badges for failed entrepreneurs. Just how common is startup failure? Harvard researcher Shikhar Ghosh cites that 75% of VC funded startups fail to return a single dime to their investors. So why do we hear so little about failed startups in Minnesota? Are we too “Minnesota nice” to brag about our failures?
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