I don’t know, are three of the hardest words for fallible human beings to say. We avoid them at all costs and at every turn. Because in our eyes, giving the wrong answer is worse than having none at all. But mistakes are not failings, they are data we can learn from. Every failure inches…

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When faced with a challenge, we seek out a sure-fire solution. We want to know exactly what to do. We long for the step-by-step guide. The right answer. A formula to follow and faithfully replicate. Formulas work. They give us the answer to questions that have been asked before. But it’s only by being willing…

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Whether things go right or wrong, we instinctively understand there’s always room for improvement. And yet, remarkably, we rarely stop to ask ourselves exactly how we could have done better. Instead, we beat ourselves up about our failures—playing the disappointment over and over in our head. Or we self-congratulate without taking the chance to build…

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Everything runs like clockwork when all staff members show up for the hectic Sunday morning shift at the cafe. Customers are greeted at the door, informed about delays and offered a drink while they wait for a table. The whole system falls apart when one team member calls in sick. Waitstaff double as greeters and…

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How often do we look down when we could look up? How often do we do the obvious instead of exploring what’s been overlooked? How often do we sit tight when we could dive in? How often do we make excuses instead of making our mark? How often do we look away when we could…

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One of my heroes died yesterday. Maybe he was one of yours too? Robin Williams wasn’t the kind of hero you are reminded of every day. You might remember him as you’re riding the train home one night and you smile when you see the words ‘Carpe Diem’ etched into a teenager’s forearm. Or when…

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For over a century Kodak knew that what was important to its customers was “Kodak moments” not their innovation and patents, (well their marketers did anyway). And yet they failed to translate that knowing into staying relevant to their customers. “Sales + Customers = Nothing Broken is the formula for corporate cyanide. Most big companies…

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In Robin Sloan’s Fish: a tap essay, he asks what it means to love something on the Internet. Liking with a single click of the mouse is not the same as loving. To love something means to be moved enough to want more. It means to go back, retrace your steps, to linger. Yesterday I…

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