Innovating Through Failure

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So, did you have a chance to think about your philosophy or failure?

If not, check out our post from last week to get you started!

Let’s jump back in!

To innovate, you must learn to fail well

How are innovators treated on your team?

How is failure treated on your team?

If your thinking is big enough, no failure should be total. You always learn something from it – whether it’s how to not do something, or maybe it’s extracting one piece of the project that did work, that was ingenious, and that can be salvaged for the next idea.

Don’t stigmatize the team that failed. The next innovators will be watching to see how the first team was treated.

Don’t get us wrong, failure is not the objective. Failure should not be celebrated – innovation and daring should be though; and often, the two come hand-in-hand.

Think about how you encourage or discourage innovation within your team.

Are you celebrating daring-ness on your team? Or are you the runner or the steam engine?

Do you stop and think about how your actions impact those around you and how you can improve?

Or do you blaze ahead – blindly and without thought or care for who and what is tossed in your wake?

This week, make a conscious decision to create something – to risk innovation. Because even if you fail, you will do so while daring greatly.

And — you just might succeed!

To fail is not really to fail – you’re merely collecting data points.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

 

First Block Quote from:  How Google Works. Schmidt, Eric and Jonathan Rosenberg. Grand Central Publishing, New York, New York. 2014.

Celebrating your team during the holidays

Celebrating your team during the holidays

Welcome to December, 2016- I can’t believe we’ve made it!

As your team has their last big push to the end of the year, we’d encourage you to celebrate them and what they’ve done this year!

You know, as well as we do, that choosing to honor your team and let them know they are seen is a great way to encourage morale as the “season of personal distractions” is upon us!

Need some tips on where to start?

  • Have a celebratory lunch where you highlight the biggest accomplishments you guys hit this year
  • Think about each team member and how you’ve seen them change or grow. In your next 1×1 (or team meeting) share with them what you’ve noticed
  • Leave an encouraging note on each of your team members desks with something that your proud of them for

You may think some of these are cheesy and, yet, choosing to say to your team, “I see you, I know you’ve been working hard” can be more impactful than you might think!

So, try it out and let us know what you do to celebrate your team!

Celebrating Success

Celebrating Success

There is no doubt that the city of Chicago is on day two of consistent celebration in honor of the Cubs winning the World Series.

While many of those living in Chicago are likely hoping for the fireworks to stop, there is a level of energy that is created by seeing someone celebrate an accomplishment.

As the year-end pushes are starting, take a moment (or two) each week to look at what your team has accomplished.

Need somewhere to start?

  • Have they recently finished a project?
  • Is there something that they finished early to set your team up for success?
  • Has someone been speaking up or risking more than they did 6 months ago?

When you see one of those successes, take the time to mention it in a meeting or grab lunch together to celebrate.

It may create some more of the positive energy you are wanting!

And, p.s. #flytheW

Take a Break- Know What You Need

Take a Break- What You Need

Over the past couple of weeks we have talked about different ways to think about taking a break.

Have you ever taken your typical break (getting outside / creating something / spending time with those close to you) and were left, well, needing ANOTHER break?

Different times call for different types of breaks.

It’s important to take “each kind” of break and make time for it. If you are always making the time to take mental breaks but never making the space to be around those you love, you’ll still be fighting to feel like you’re getting the break you need.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 7.22.41 AMThis week, we have Sheila Clark with us, sharing about the different types of breaks she really enjoys.

What is that thing that you love to do? I love to read a good book, and occasionally enjoy some creative time behind a sewing machine.

Why do you love to do that? My grandmother instilled the love of creativity into my life at a young age. Through the years, I’ve developed some great relationships among others who share similar hobbies. Both sewing and reading also allow me some time to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and rejuvenate.

In the midst of a busy schedule, how do you find time to do it? In all honesty, I have to schedule time for these things, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of time. Reading a chapter or two at night before turning out the light, or in the morning over a cup of coffee. Scheduling a half hour in the early morning or on the weekend to work on a project behind my sewing machine.

What is one tip you’d make to someone who wanted to create a little more space to do something they enjoy? It’s just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of others or to work through the daily agenda. I have more energy and capacity to meet the busy demands of my life when I’ve invested some time in my own self-care. 

This week, we’d encourage you to be a little more reflective and think about what types of breaks you do well, and what kinds you can make a little more space in your life for.

It’s just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of others or to work through the daily agenda.

We will leave you with this thought, I have more energy and capacity to meet the busy demands of my life when I’ve invested some time in my own self-care.

You Matter

You Matter

Last week we brainstormed ideas on how to keep your team engaged in the summer.

But what about you?

To say that the summer has been busy for you would be an understatement. Deadlines. New hires. People moving on. A crazy team schedule. And that vacation that you barely squeezed in (or are still trying to…).

Sometimes, in the hype of everything that’s going on, you forget to do something to refresh yourself.

Stay positive: In all the hype and the hustle, think about all you’ve done. Know it will all get done again. You are a GREAT manager… let yourself believe that too!

Reward yourself: Both in the big and little things. You made it through the week – YEAH! Treat yourself to a movie. Your team finished their project (even when Jason was out and Mike’s wife had their baby!)… GO TEAM! Treat yourself to the local happy hour. No accomplishment is too big or small to go unrewarded.

Get re-inspired: Especially in the summer, we want that epic story of the vacation where we did something so “different than what we normally do”. But, maybe you don’t have time to take that rock climbing vacation in Costa Rica. Now what? Check out the “Things To Do” section of Groupon or the “Events and Activities” area of Living Social. Choose something you’ve always wanted to do and GO FOR IT! If nothing else, you’ll have a great story!

And, let us know what you decide to do!

OOO- Returning On Monday

OOO- Returning On Monday

… In my absence please connect with Devin Jones for any urgent matters, otherwise I will connect with you once I return…

Your stomach sinks. You NEED to connect with Sam to complete your project for your boss and now she’s on vacation for a week?!

Remember when vacations use to be fun? It seems like at some stage in your life vacations made an abrupt shift – now all you think about is when someone is out of the office how much it throws off your week and creates more work for you.

Somewhere along the way, we started (secretly or not-so-secretly) regretting when others take time off of work. And, making sure that business goals are still met when you have Mary out this week, Simone getting married the week after, and Matt who’s wife is pregnant and may have the baby at any time now, can be a challenge.

How do you keep your team encouraged (and unified) when it seems like they won’t all be together for the next two months?

Sport It Up: Set up a Frisbee game/ happy hour one day after work for everyone who is around. Or, if your team doesn’t like to play sports, set up a time to go see a local baseball game.

Take It Outside: I know, this one seems a little cliché but for a couple of your meetings, schedule it during lunch and take your team outside. It is amazing what a little extra sunlight can do to your mood!

Celebrate the Returns: There is nothing more disheartening (well, that’s a little dramatic) than coming back to work and wishing you had one more day of vacation. So, as people are coming back to the office, send out a “welcome back” email or 20-minute coffee break to celebrate their return!

Let us know how these work for you or what you do to keep your team unified in the summer!

The BOOM of Fireworks

The BOOM of Fireworks

I love fireworks.

Think back to last year’s 4th of July party. As the fireworks begin to BOOM throughout the sky, remember the young children’s reactions (or even the dog’s for that matter)? Crying, barking, and fear. How could something so beautiful be so scary at the same time?

This is how the fires at work feel sometimes too. You are shockingly busy – the busyness, your team, and your responsibilities are growing. Yet, in the middle of all the demands and pressures, it’s hard to see the good that is driving your day-to-day pressures.

This 4th of July weekend, when you get a little extra time to enjoy a burger and time with family or friends – take a moment to enjoy.

And remember – whatever feels like it’s booming at work today probably has some beauty to it as well.