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Failure as Strength - The power of Failure for Innovation & Learning from Defeat

Failure as Strength - The power of Failure for Innovation & Learning from Defeat | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

It’s really hard to talk about failure. The "Admitting Failure" website, connected to engineering failure stories at its creation, hopes to change that. 

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...acknowledging failure is often a catalyst for innovation... 
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It is painful for civil society organizations to acknowledge when we don’t meet our goals and objectives...   The paradox is that we do everything we can to avoid these pains even though we all know failure is the best teacher and we have to be open and talk about our failures in order to learn. ....acknowledging failure is often a catalyst for innovation that takes our work from good to great.
    

To address this conundrum we need a paradigm shift in how civil society views failure.  We think this starts with open and honest dialogue about what is working and what isn’t so Admitting Failure exists to support and encourage organizations to (not surprisingly) admit failure.
 

ad·mit   /ədˈmit/
verb: 
1. To concede as true or valid <admit responsibility for a failure>
2. To allow entry <admit failure into the organization, allowing a safe space for dialogue>
 

Fear, embarrassment, and intolerance of failure drives our learning underground and hinders innovation.
    
No more. Failure is strength. The most effective and innovative organizations are those that are willing to speak openly about their failures because the only truly “bad” failure is one that’s repeated.
   
Related posts by Deb on Learning and Failure:
   

   
   
    

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

"To begin again, this time more intelligently" is exactly why embracing failure is important to building high performing teams and to high performance cultures that truly support learning, adaptation and change.  For that reason, this innovative website is referenced on several websites, including an Oprah.com blog post about "What to Do When You're Feeling Defeated."   

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) set up this website to encourage aid workers to share their mistakes—and to kickstart future success, and then some.

After allowing for the process of accepting defeat, realize defeat and crisis can transform us, renew us, and provide a different perspective.  I may be the transformative feedback we need and have been missing.
  
~  Deb 

Reference:  Tracking the Defining Moments of Crisis Process and Practice by Amisha Mehta, , Robina Xavier. Public Relations Review, Volume 38, Issue 3, September 2012, Pages 376–382, Available online 29 December 2011

 

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Kristin Newton's curator insight, May 4, 2015 1:58 AM
Starting over fresh, with new wisdom, can be a gift in disguise.
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Beginning to See the Light - Universities Adapt

"American universities are exiting a period of denial to grasp that they must remake themselves, beginning by understanding their place in society."

Go to the 30 minutes mark in to hear a 5 minute forecast by Huron [Consulting] managing director, Education leader, Edwin Eisendrath. 

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Today there is disequilibrium. Once a few universities get it right..it will be very exciting.

    

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Excerpts (not in order):

American universities are ...making their operations more efficient, deferring capital expenditures, and professionalizing management.

    

Faculty needs support.  Smart administrations are building easy to travel roads that faculty can use.

   

Universities are beginning to challenge publish or perish with new incentives, annual review on tenure process, social incentives for faculty - social networks that are institution based rather than discipline based.
    
Today there is disequilibrium. Once a few universities get it right..it will be very exciting.

 

Other excerpts:
Examples of turbulence: President Teresa Sullivan - formerly provost of the University of Michigan, at University of Virginia - hired, fired, rehired.


Good news, Universities are figuring this out. The University of Michigan is beginning to prepare for the public engagement for how to reach out and listen.

     

Questions for universities & colleges what’s changing:

  • Vision (markets, values, direction, needs), 
  • Incentives, support, 
  • Governance
  • Direction of money
  • Capacity to compete
  • National identity, context for the place of universities in society - role will need to be different
  • New or alternative paths to employment:


“A paper on King Lear may lead somewhere, unlike the

rather far-fetched play of the same name. It may be

a stepping-stone to the Local Government Board.

…As long as learning is connected with earning,

as long as certain jobs can only be reached

through exams, [and we]…we take the

examination system seriously.

If another ladder to employment were contrived,

much so-called education would disappear,

and no one be a penny the stupider.”

                                

                                         ~ E.M. Forster, Aspects of a Novel


Related tools from Deb:

               

 


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This consulting firm director shares examples of how higher education, using technology tools for efficiencies & re-examining how the environment has dramatically changed, is adapting and experimenting with new approaches, now.

     


Examples include:  
     

  • Rethinking publish or perish for faculty, and faculty support

     

  • Administrative  collaboration with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and
        
  • Georgetown, Washington, DC - Offers short courses on how policy gets made, with government leaders. 

         

  • Governor of Wisconsin - with its high unemployment rate, is exploring college credits and competencies to build a system that is competency based to help Wisconsin residents get credit for learning and access further online education.

~  D
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Why Apple, Academia, Tesla & VCs May Die, Disruption Guru Christensen Talks

Why Apple, Academia, Tesla & VCs May Die, Disruption Guru Christensen Talks | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen literally wrote the book on technology disruption...and he thinks Apple, Tesla Motors, venture capitalists and most of the nation’s colleges and universities should be afraid."

  

The author of The Innovator’s Dilemma said Wednesday that all of them could be killed by less advanced competitors in the same way that many once dominant technology companies have been in the past.

  

...He believes that and the commoditization of smartphones threaten Apple in the long run.

  

...“For 300 years, higher education was not disruptable because there was no technological core."

  

“But now online learning brings to higher education this technological core, and people who are very complacent are in deep trouble.'

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...people who are very complacent are in deep trouble.

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...“there is a different business model that is disrupting this in addition to online learning. It’s on-the-job education. ...you come in for a week and we’ll teach you about strategy and you go off and develop a strategy.  


...You learn it and you use it. These are very different business models and that’s what’s killing us.”

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Yes, this fits what I've been tracking since I left higher education in 2009, and his track record of sensing disruption is impressive.  


Who is responding in ways that make sense?  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, February 11, 2013 11:50 AM

I've posted this to BOTH Change Leader Watch & here.  On the Innovations & Institutions stream, I'll be adding examples of organizations that are adapting to this disruption in academe and the other industries mentioned.  ~  Deb

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, February 17, 2013 4:30 PM
Thanks for your comments Marie. Knowledge Management is quite an industry, with various opinions of the traction it holds in business. I am most curious as to where it is headed.
Patrick J Scanlon's curator insight, March 12, 2013 5:58 PM

If you don't like change.  You will like irrelevance even less #media #higherEd #VC

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High-Tech Sector is Losing its Dynamism, Affects Job Creation > Kaufman Report 2014

High-Tech Sector is Losing its Dynamism, Affects Job Creation > Kaufman Report 2014 | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Surprising news:  New firms account for a smaller share of the tech sector than in previous decades. > HBR Blog & a recent Kaufman report.


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....the pace of job creation has been on a persistent decline. 

     

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America’s high-tech sector has become less dynamic and less entrepreneurial in the last decade via  a recent Kauffman Foundation report writer Ian Hathaway co-authored.


...The high-tech sector is experiencing a consolidation of activity away from young firms into more mature ones, and the pace of job creation has been on a persistent decline. ....high-tech companies have been well-represented among the fastest growing firms in the past few years, the high-tech sector–like the rest of the economy–is less dynamic overall.



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....Business dynamism involves...new and superior ideas replace existing and inferior ones, while more productive firms usurp less productive ones.

   
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...Business dynamism involves measuring ...businesses ...being formed, growing, shrinking, and closing....churning: jobs are created while others are destroyed, and some workers move into new roles as others seek to replace them. New and superior ideas replace existing and inferior ones, while more productive firms usurp less productive ones.


...Entrepreneurs also play an outsized role in new job creation. While older and larger firms account for the substantial majority of employment levels, new and growing young firms drive net new job creation overall.


....Research has firmly established that this process of “creative destruction” fuels productivity growth, making it indispensable to our sustained economic prosperity. ...a more dynamic economy is a key to higher growth.


Read the full blog post here


Photo credit, thenext28days on Flickr, ccc.

Related tools & posts by Deb:

  

  • Stay in touch with Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  NINE multi-gold award winning curation streams from @Deb Nystrom, REVELN delivered once a month via email, available for free here, via REVELN Tools.

     

      

       

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The business dynamism or creative dynamism of which Ian Hathaway speaks seems has a kinship to Anti-Fragile concepts, especially, how  "new and superior ideas replace existing and inferior ones, while more productive firms usurp less productive ones."  ~  D

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Strengths from Chaos, Uncertainty, Resistance & Stress = Antifragile

Strengths from Chaos, Uncertainty, Resistance & Stress = Antifragile | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"Nassim Taleb's third book argues that we can benefit from chaos, uncertainty, resistance and stress. In an antifragile system, randomness is your best friend."


The Lebanese-American thinker Nassim Taleb argues in his new book Antifragile that there also exist things that are the exact opposite of fragile.


Things that are not merely robust [or resilient], but beyond robustness, such that accidents and chance events tend to make them better and stronger – much like a glass that becomes harder to break every time you drop it on the floor.


You see the same phenomenon in industries where the level of competition and entrepreneurship is high. The nightlife in your city gets better for every restaurant that goes bankrupt. The bankruptcy itself is a sad event, and negative for those concerned, but the overall result of bankruptcies is to improve the quality of those that survive.


Nassim Taleb’s new word for this opposite of fragility is antifragility....


Related posts by Deb:

   




Via Philippe Vallat
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The next post I'll be adding is how Antifragility relates to the ebb and flow in our cities and their leaders, investors in the USA.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, April 14, 2013 3:12 PM
Quite intrigued by this concept, as you already know. ~ D
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Leading in a VUCA change world - Are you ready for the volatile, uncertain, complex & ambiguous?

Leading in a VUCA change world - Are you ready for the volatile, uncertain, complex & ambiguous? | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"How’s your leadership working on in your VUCA world (Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous)? "


Liz Guthridge has written a great post on leading in a VUCA world; VCUA stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, a term coined by the US Army War College in the weeks before September 11, 2001.  


Liz & I discussed the need for collaboration and community across disciplines to succeed in a VUCA world in connection with our recent panel + Open Space presentation we did for a global change conference on Success Secrets of Trusted Change Advisors.


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VUCA can provide threats [and] offer opportunities, especially if you translate VUCA as “vision, understanding, clarity and agility.” ~ Dr. Bob Johansen

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Here are some excerpts of her take on the insightful presentation by one of our keynote presenters:


"Leading in a VUCA world" is a popular phrase with Bob Johansen, a distinguished fellow and former president of Institute for the Future.


According to Dr. Johansen, who shared his 2020 forecast at the Association of Change Management Professionals global conference this week, our VUCA world is not going away. In fact it’s just going to spin faster during the next decade.


In his talk “External Future Forces That Will Disrupt the Practice of Change Management,” Dr. Johansen noted that VUCA is not necessarily doom and gloom. While VUCA can provide threats, it also can offer opportunities, especially if you translate VUCA as “vision, understanding, clarity and agility.”


As for his two big 2022 predictions for organizational change agents, they are:


1. “The digital natives (now 16 years or younger) will create new practices to make change through gaming.” (The other key phrase besides gaming in this sentence is “make.” Dr. Johansen predicts that a culture of makers will drive the next generation of change. And as a result, leaders need to show the “maker instinct” trait.)


2. “Reciprocity-based innovation will focus on the economic, social and psychological value of reciprocity.” (Two important traits for leaders are smart-mob organizing and commons creating. Think Creative Commons.)


Dr. Johansen challenged the 825 of us in attendance to figure out how to help people and organizations adapt to these changes and others.


To do this, we should watch our terms and our questions.  Read Liz's full post here.

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Tom Hood's curator insight, April 6, 2013 5:16 PM

We just covered this in our townhall this past Monday. Arelene Thomas (AICPA/CGMA) talked about VUCA related to CPAs in Biz/Industry.


VUCA can provide threats [and] offer opportunities, especially if you translate VUCA as “vision, understanding, clarity and agility.” ~ Dr. Bob Johansen

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, April 6, 2013 5:26 PM

We need to consider VUCA