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.
We are constantly bombarded with the latest “innovation” stories from Silicon Valley tech startups. Almost never do we hear the stories of amazingly innovative non-profits – but trust me they do exist. As in business, sometimes innovation initiatives succeed but sometimes they miss the mark. How organizations chose to accept and learn from those failures can dramatically influence their future success. They are not just attempting to launch new initiatives, they are creating a culture of innovation.
I am excited to be a panelist at the University of Minnesota’s “Finding Success through Failure” event on March 27th. The event is hosted by the University of Minnesota Office for Technology Commercialization and is always a great networking event for entrepreneurs or those looking to become an entrepreneur.
Last week I was in a golf tournament for my college fraternity Beta Theta Pi and had the pleasure of being grouped with several current students. After a few stories of debauchery and crazy antics from over twenty years ago we got on to the subject of careers. One of the students mentioned that he was majoring in Information Systems which also was my undergraduate degree. The discussion triggered a flashback of the amazing amount of discovery that seemed to be bombarding me at that time in my life. Looking back over my “career path” I now realize how I have continually struggled to maintain that extraordinary sense of discovery I felt then.
Last week I gave a presentation to a class of undergraduate students from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. The discussion was centered on the topic of failure and how the fear of business failure is relative based on where we live in the world. The students have spent the better part of the last year working on their startup business ideas and I was impressed with what the teams were able to accomplish and where they had admitted their failures. During the discussion one brave student admitted that he had felt a fear of failing during the course of launching their student business. When asked why he had explained that all of the students knew which projects from the previous year had done well and which had failed. He didn’t want his project to be on this year’s list of failed projects. He was interviewing with potential future employers and he wanted to be able to talk about his success.
A high fever, night sweats, periodic chills, and bouts of delirium can seem like pure hell. My recent bout with this year’s flu (influenza virus) had completely knocked me out of commission. Like so many others that were infected this year it was a long road to recovery. It has been more than a week since I came down with the flu and I am just now finally feeling like I am back on my feet. Through the whole ordeal I had one lingering question: I got my flu shot this year so why did I still get so sick?
Last June marked the fifteenth year since I graduated from b-school at the Carlson School of Management. Over the summer I had been asked by the school to do an interview and answer a few questions looking back on my experience. I had recently published a blog post on “Three Things I Learned in B-school” that focused on the lessons that had followed me throughout my career but as I prepared for this interview I was thinking more about how much had changed in the world since I had graduate. I was quickly blown away with my quick list of changes that I had written down: medical discoveries, the Internet explosion, software development, redefining business and leadership theories, and the advances in telecommunications to name just a few.
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