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!
The Bush Foundation will be hosting their first event focused solely on supporting their past and present Community Innovation Prize grantees.
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.
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.
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.
I work with companies large and small who are trying to develop a sustainable innovation practice. They don’t just want to launch an idea on a wing and a prayer. They want to find a repeatable process that can improve their chances of success. Admittedly they have tried the wing and prayer route before and they know it doesn’t work. The truth is that most of these disruptive or exponential innovation initiatives don’t succeed. They fail. The challenge that these companies face is that they are trying to build the tools and processes but they struggle to address the culture. They never address the necessity of failure.
According to MarketWatch, Disney’s The Lone Ranger brought in just $48.9 million in its first five days in theaters. Industry experts estimate that the movie cost between $215 million and $250 million to create. With such high production costs, analysts have a bleak outlook that Disney will be able to recoup their costs even with overseas royalties. How in the era of powerful market testing can there be such a big gap between expectations and reality. How can there still be such big box office failures? Many of the biggest bombs are able to recoup revenue through global distribution (see the list of the Biggest Movie Failures).
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