1: Getting better at getting better is what RiseWithDrew is all about.

Monday through Thursday, we explore ideas from authors, thought leaders, and exemplary organizations. On Friday, I share something we are doing at PCI in our quest to earn a spot on Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Last week, we explored the idea of failure. If we want to innovate, we can expect challenges and setbacks. That’s why the great innovators talk so much about persistence and not giving up. Because when we try anything new, how often do we get it absolutely right the first time? Rarely. Perhaps never.

2: One organization that does a fabulous job de-stigmatizing failure is Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. While visiting the headquarters in Waterbury, Vermont, we can visit the Flavor Graveyard, where we will find real tombstones for such failed flavors as “Holy Cannoli”, “Peanut Butter and Jelly”, and “Peanuts! Popcorn!”

Ben and Jerry’s flavor guru Eric Fredette says, “Experimentation comes with risk.”

Rather than run or hide from their failures, they CELEBRATE them. Because this is the mindset that allows for innovation. Failure is part of the creative process.

3: Last week, I shared about the failure we had with our Running is Life experiment where we attempted to extend our Oral History Project to marathon runners. The goal was to go direct to consumers using social media and digital marketing. It didn’t work.

Out of that setback, however, came a new idea. We decided to capitalize on our strong outside sales capabilities to target the non-profit market. Here, there are thousands of organizations with donors who have powerful stories to share about their passion for different causes. We’ve hired several veteran fund-raising professionals to lead this effort. More to come!

My all-time favorite message on failure comes from the great Michael Jordan in a commercial for Nike. Michael tells us, “I’ve failed over and over in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

More next week!


Reflection: What have I failed at recently? What have I learned?

Action: Journal about it.

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