Top Readings and Resources on Learning From Failure

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By: Barbara Demarest, strategy consultant, Barbara Demarest Consulting

Over the past several years, there has been discussion in the world of philanthropy about failure. Here is a collection of ideas about failure – whether you learn more from it than success, how you learn from it, how organizations look at it, and the importance of failure in achieving eventual success. These different viewpoints on failure and learning come from both the field of philanthropy and from other sectors.

  1. Following Up on Failure – from The Chronicle of Philanthropy regarding learning from failure
  2. Failing Forward – posted on both Lucy Bernholz’s Philanthropy 2173 and Alliance Magazine’s blog
  3. Exploring Failure – Stanford Social Innovation Review
  4. Embracing Failure at the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference
  5. Strategies for Learning from Failure – an article behind the wall at Harvard Business Review or you can watch the 12-minute interview for free
  6. No Fear of Failure – a book capturing interviews with leaders from business, philanthropy, politics and education about how they approached crucial career defining moments
  7. How You Learn More from Success than Failure – a Scientific American article about how the brain processes mistakes
  8. How the Mighty Fall: What We Can Learn from Failure – a Bloomberg BusinessWeek slide show of examples

 


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Barbara Demarest


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Mission, Vision and Values
Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation 
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Individual Professional Development 
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