Thursday, November 10, 2011

Announcing the Wharton "Brilliant Mistakes Contest"

From the University of Pennsylvania:
Win Two Free Roundtrip Southwest Airlines Tickets, a Wharton Executive Education Course, and more
Everyone makes mistakes, but very few of them lead to success. In Brilliant Mistakes: Finding Success on the Far Side of Failure (Wharton Digital Press), Paul J. H. Schoemaker argues that missteps can lead to brilliant insights that result in game-changing innovations. In fact, not making mistakes may be the greatest mistake of all. The trick is to know when and how to make mistakes that can jumpstart success.
Tell us about your brilliant mistake, and you could win two roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines, a Wharton Executive Education course, an invitation to a members-only conference at the Wharton Mack Center for Technological Innovation, an invitation to a Wharton SEI Center conference, a signed paperback copy of Brilliant Mistakes, and more.

Contest begins: November 8, 2011
Deadline for submission: January 15, 2012

How to Participate
Tell us about your most brilliant mistake in 300 words or less.  Please describe the mistake and tell us: What led to the mistake?  How did it occur?  Perhaps most important, what did you learn from it?  Did it result in implementable change?  How did it affect your organization? Please click here to enter the contest.
Questions? Email us at with “Brilliant Mistakes Contest” in the subject line.
The link can also be found via this Knowledge@Wharton article:

Paul J.H. Schoemaker's 'Brilliant Mistakes': Finding Opportunity in Failures
Groupon's rejection of Google's bid. Subscription changes at Netflix. The New York City Schools' hiring of a former publishing executive. Do events like these, which were considered to be colossal mistakes by some, also have the opportunity to result in game-changing innovations? That is one of the questions that Paul J.H. Schoemaker, research director of Wharton's Mack Center for Technological Innovation and chairman and founder of consulting firm Decision Strategies International, has been exploring throughout his career. 

In his new book, Brilliant Mistakes: Finding Success on the Far Side of Failure, Schoemaker describes a long list of inventions -- including personal copiers, ATM machines, organic food and tobacco-free cigarettes -- that, though they were judged as mistakes by the conventional wisdom of the time, proved to be brilliant.