Change Leadership Watch
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Change Leadership Watch
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

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 |

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

...acknowledging failure is often a catalyst for innovation... 


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/
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 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


Kristin Newton's curator insight, May 4, 2015 1:58 AM
Starting over fresh, with new wisdom, can be a gift in disguise.
Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

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. 

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



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 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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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Leadership Teams: Success Factors! Where Teamwork Thrives in the Money Management Industry

Leadership Teams:  Success Factors! Where Teamwork Thrives in the Money Management Industry | Change Leadership Watch |

Factors that truly differentiate top firms. It's the leader teams!

Recently, the Focus Consulting Group surveyed more than 100 asset management firms around the world, testing both for the strength of their cultures and for the effectiveness of their leadership teams....


Of the investment professionals we surveyed, fully 94% agree with the statement: "Culture is important to our firm's success." Why do they think so? For them, the key benefit is "effective decision making." Both are interesting findings from an industry often seen as celebrating lone geniuses and superstars.

The same "elite" six firms that demonstrated superior cultures also posted senior leadership teamwork scores that are significantly higher than average. In particular, they distinguished themselves from the rest of the investment industry on five dimensions.


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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

5 Brain Myths That Won't Go Away, Getting Facts in 2014

5 Brain Myths That Won't Go Away, Getting Facts in 2014 | Change Leadership Watch |

Scientists are not only far from a comprehensive explanation of how the brain works, they can't even agree on the best way to study it. So it's not surprising that myths and misinformation continue to persist —spurred on, in part, by pop culture. But why do we continue to buy into these falsehoods?.

Myth: You are either right- or left-brained dominant.


"In reality, we are all whole-brain users." said Shelton. "But this myth helps people define their differences, similar to calling someone male or female. So if you define yourself as right-brained, it immediately connects you with a set of predetermined qualities."


Other debunked myths in this useful piece:


Myth: You only use 10 percent of your brain.

Myth: Alcohol kills brain cells.

Myth: Brain damage is permanent.

Myth: Your IQ is a fixed number.


As always in our ScoopIt news, click on the photo or title to see the full Scooped post.


Related tools & posts by Deb:





  • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Brain sapping beliefs persist and drain productivity and performance in business and in overall learning.  Check the job descriptions in your business for words like "must be able to multi-task."  

Check manufacturing employee schedules for overloaded work-days such 12 hour days 7 days a week.  It's happening in businesses making record profits and NOT hiring temp staff to even out the work load.

At least this good article brings us up to date on brain science.  There is a long way to go.   ~  Deb 

Manish Puranik's curator insight, August 4, 2014 1:31 AM
"In reality, we are all whole-brain users..."
Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

How I Hire: Focus On Personality ~ Sir Richard Branson

How I Hire: Focus On Personality ~ Sir Richard Branson | Change Leadership Watch |

There is nothing more important for a business than hiring the right team. If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success."


Personality is the key. It is not something that always comes out in interview – people can be shy.....It is easier with an extrovert, but be wary of people becoming overexcited in the pressure of interviews.


Find people with transferable skills – you need team players who can pitch in and try their hand at all sorts of different jobs. 


You can learn most jobs extremely quickly once you are thrown in the deep end. Within three months you can usually know the ins and outs of a role. If you are satisfied with the personality, then look at experience and expertise.

Find people with transferable skills – you need team players who can pitch in and try their hand at all sorts of different jobs. While specialists are sometimes necessary, versatility should not be underestimated.

Related posts by Deb:

3 Success Factors for High Performance Teams, and What Gets In the Way


Beyond Resilience: Black Swans, Anti-Fragility and Change


Using Jung to Clarify the Power of Introversion and Extroversion in Coaching


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Yes!  Starting with personality, then transferable skills and fit into culture (read, the BIG team) makes such a difference, yet does not fit our hiring patterns that are often about fitting into a template of past skill categories.   

Sir Richard Branson's piece also highly resonantes with his LinkedIn audience based on the commentary.   He moves credentials MUCH further down on the list.

This is from a successful entrepreneur who knows failure.  He did not succeed in his first two businesses, selling Christmas Trees and parakeets (really.) From there he rose from work at a record shop, to Virgin Records in the 1970s to a large network of businesses including Virgin Galactic in 2012.

"A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts." ~ Richard Branson

~  Deb 

PS:  One of the comments, "Can I work for you?"  :-)

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, September 24, 2013 11:03 AM

Originally posted in Change  Leadership Watch, this post gives great pointers on what really matters when YOU decide where you best fit and can contribute.  ~  D