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Fire people for not failing

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Fire people for not failing

When people are not failing, they are not innovating. Accordingly, the most successful leaders look at failure as a beacon of success.

In Weird Ideas That Work, Robert Sutton talks about the early days of MTV, a Warner subsidiary. At the time, Warner was trying to break free of its more traditional programming. To get people to think differently, chairman Steven Ross would fire people for not making mistakes.

Using the same concept, but in a more positive way, Microsoft waits for people to have one large, public failure before promoting them.

IBM founder Thomas Watson, Sr. also shared this philosophy when he received a resignation call from a manager who had made a $10 million mistake.

Watson rejected the resignation, saying “You can’t be serious, we just spent $10 million educating you.”

Even Michelangelo understood the importance of pushing limits to create something magnificent: “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

Use failure as a benchmark for thinking big.

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The above excerpt was from Jeremy Gutsche's book:
EXPLOITING CHAOS - 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change.


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About Jeremy
Jeremy Gutsche

Jeremy is an innovation expert, host of Trend Hunter TV, keynote speakers, and the founder of TrendHunter.com [More]
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