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Take the time out to watch these great videos
 -  Posted by Deepa on Sep 6 2006 [Inspiration]

Seth Godin on ‘This is broken’

Watching this video would be a great starting point for a discussion and debate in organizations pushing for change / people willing to take initiative.

If you have not yet seen thevideos at the TED Conference, do so asap!

From their website on what TED is about:

“TED is all about connections. The connections of ideas and the connections of people. It is based on the insight that to truly understand anything, you need to understand a little bit of everything that surrounds it. And that by allowing ourselves to be exposed each year to a diverse group of some of the most remarkable people on the planet, we transplant ourselves out of the one-dimensional mind-set of much of our working lives and into fertile country that will allow us - actually, almost force us - to grow.”

Richard Saul Wurman who originally founded the TED conference (and has since sold it) wanted the conference to be all about having great conversations with interesting people.

The quote below is from an interview of his (can’t remember now where I read it) that reflects what he wanted to achieve.

“If I played golf…a horrible thought-I might invite a biologist who could explain how the grass grows, a physicist who could explain how the ball flies, and ask what the connection between those is. I don’t want to do research; I just want to be in a receptive state and ask unrehearsed questions of people who would know about these things. I don’t want agendas; I want to be surprised.”

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What did successful people learn from their failures?
 -  Posted by Deepa on Sep 2 2006 [Learning]

Business Week has some articles on how organizations respond to failures and what successful people learnt from failures:

This one is from Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric

“In 1992, I was running all the commercial operations for the plastics business at GE. We had a product called Nuvel, which was a sheet product that would go over wood to try to create the poor man’s Corian countertops. Turns out the thing just didn’t work. Any time you dropped a coin on it, it would leave a mark that you couldn’t get out unless you buffed it with sandpaper. It was a classic case of just not asking the right questions up front.”

“This one was my mistake. I let the need for speed overwhelm doing enough upfront market research and testing. It was a $20 million mistake. We caught it after about three months. Customers would complain. At first, you go through this denial phase: “You don’t understand” the product, and stuff like that.”

“It made me learn about listening better. I’m more disciplined on the upfront stuff now than I was then. I wanted to do something big and exciting, and I wanted to do it now rather than wait a year.”

Though he does add on: “You’re never allowed in GE to make the same mistake twice. You’re allowed to make the mistake once. If you try something and it fails, but you went about it the right way and you learned from it, that’s not a bad thing.”

Read his complete story and others such as Jim Goodnight,CEO, SAS Institute and E. Neville Isdell
CEO, Coca-Cola
here

How organizations handle failures is here

It includes Virgin Atlantic Airways and its sleeper seats in business class, Jet Blue Airways inflight snack mix among others.

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