The Other "F" Word: Failure-wise Lessons for Breakthrough Innovation and Growth

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Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2015-03-16
Publisher(s): John Wiley & Sons Inc
List Price: $25.00

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Leverage the power of failure in your organization

Nobody wants to fail, but failure is a fact of life. Most of us treat it as a regrettable, even shameful, event best overlooked. In truth, failure can be a game-changing strategic resource that can help you and your organization achieve the greater success you crave.

The Other "F" Word shows how successful leaders and teams are putting failure to work every day - to re-engage employees, spark innovation and accelerate growth. Authors Danner and Coopersmith - with their rare blend of senior-level executive experience, global advising, teaching acumen and cross-discipline perspective - share these valuable new practices, and show how they can improve results across your organization. Based on exclusive interviews with prominent leaders and insightful examples from their own in-depth work, the book features a practical seven-stage framework to liberate failure as a force to advance your leadership agenda. After all, everyone creates and confronts failure on a daily basis. Why not use it to your advantage? The Other "F" Word shows you how to:

  • Start an open, productive conversation about failure across your organization
  • Reduce the fear of failure that stifles initiative, creativity and engagement
  • Anticipate, prepare for and respond to failure, so you can leverage it when it happens
  • Harness failure as a catalyst to drive innovation, improve performance and strengthen culture

Failure's like gravity – pervasive and powerful. Whether you're a leader or team member of a startup, a growing business, or an established enterprise, failure is today's lesson for tomorrow. Let The Other "F" Word show you how to apply this lesson and take your company where it needs to go.

Author Biography

JOHN DANNER is a management consultant, professor, and entrepreneur. He advises global enterprises and emerging ventures, and anchors international executive education programs. He teaches innovation, entrepreneurship, strategy, and leadership at the University of California Berkeley and Princeton University; and conceived the idea for TED U[niversity]. A frequent keynote speaker at conferences on five continents, he and his wife live in Berkeley, CA and New York City.

MARK COOPERSMITH is a corporate executive, entrepreneur, strategic advisor, and professor. A Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, he teaches innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership to students and executives from around the world. He has built and run global businesses for Sony and Newell Rubbermaid, has launched successful Silicon Valley startups, and speaks often to audiences internationally. He and his family live in Tiburon, CA.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jeffrey Bewkes, Chairman and CEO, Time Warner xv

Preface: A Book About a Topic Nobody Wants to Talk About xvii

Chapter 1 What’s in It for Me? Your Personal Guided Book Tour 1

Part I What: The Facts and Facets of Failure 11

Chapter 2 The Other F Word: “Failure” is Such a Loaded Word 13

Chapter 3 The Gravity of Failure and Failure’s Gravity 21

Chapter 4 Defining Failure: Mistakes and Unwelcome Outcomes That Matter 27

Chapter 5 Fear and Memory: Failure’s Force Multipliers 37

Part II When and Where: How Failure Appears at Different Organizational Phases 47

Chapter 6 Start-Ups: Launching Your Venture in the Land of Failure 49
Your Role: Passionate Convincer

Chapter 7 Keep-Ups: Surviving and Thriving After You Meet Payroll 67
Your Role: Confident Juggler

Chapter 8 Grown-Ups: Dodging the Oxymoron of “Big Company Agility” 81
Your Role: Trusted Colleague

Part III How: Using the Failure Value Cycle to Advance Your Organization 97

Chapter 9 The Failure Value Cycle: Seven Stages Where You Can Leverage or Flunk Failure 99

Chapter 10 Stage One—Respect: Acknowledge the Gravity of Failure 103
Your Role: Straight Talker

Chapter 11 Stage Two—Rehearse: It’s Not Just About Fire Drills 121
Your Role: Tenacious Coach

Chapter 12 Stage Three—Recognize: Pick Up the Signals of Failure Earlier 131
Your Role: Watchful Monitor

Chapter 13 Stage Four—React: Deal with It! 143
Your Role: Team Captain

Chapter 14 Stage Five—Reflect: Turn Failure from a Regret to a Resource 153
Your Role: Inquisitive Student

Chapter 15 Stage Six—Rebound: Retake the Initiative 165
Your Role: Field General

Chapter 16 Stage Seven—Remember: Embed Failure Savvy in Your Culture 173
Your Role: Proud Storyteller

Chapter 17 The Failure Value Report Card: A Practical Tool to Help You Put Failure to Work 183

Part IV Now: Put the Other F Word to Work 193

Chapter 18 Creating the Failure-Savvy Organization 195

Chapter 19 Escape the Gravity of Failure: Leading the Fallible Organization 209

Afterword by China Gorman, CEO, Great Place to Work Institute 213

Appendix—Our Classrooms: Putting Failure to Work in Creating Value 215

Acknowledgments 225

About the Authors 227

Notes 229

Index 249

Presenting the Other “F” Word Keynote 259

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