For the longest time business and military leaders wouldn’t dare utter the word failure in front of their organizations. For many the credo was that failure wasn’t an option. Times have certainly changed but many organizations are just scratching the surface in addressing the difficult issues surrounding failure.
So everyone is talking about the importance of “transparency” in business these days – customer transparency, financial transparency, even radical transparency. Do you think you organization is open and transparent? Maybe your company uses social media to continually engage your constituents in every possible social media vehicle or maybe your CMO has been a little “overly transparent” when on more than one occasion he shared a corporate secret via his new blog. Sure you’ll talk about your wins, your new strategy, or your latest promotions but have you ever been transparent with your failures? Have you ever published an annual report that detailed your failed initiatives and the failures in your operations?
Just the other day I had realized that I had passed the fifteen year mark since I graduated from b-school. After my initial shock of how long ago that really was I began trying to summarize what I had learned from those 2 years of my life. While I recall very few of the details from the hundreds of case studies that were read, there were a few insights that I was able to recall but there were three that seemed to stand out compared to the rest.
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