Friday, 16 November 2012

Bill Clinton on innovation

I went to the Entrepreneur's 2012 conference today and heard Bill Clinton speak.

He said "You have to have the right to fail and admit it so you can succeed."

In our world today this is tricky - especially when you think about the George Entwhistle situation at the BBC. Where as Director General he had to resign when some believe he may be the perfect man to lead the BBC through this crisis.  We can learn from our mistakes.  Success is not always a good teacher.

Clinton joked about liking being part of an NGO because now "When I  screws up I can now say “I did’"

He said

We should try rewarding politicians for saying “I tried this, I failed,  it didn’t work, we stopped, we’re not wasting your money any more, here’s what we learned so now lets do something else.  I wish one of these organizations that gives people awards would set up an award system for innovative political leaders who tried things that didn't work and admitted it to their voters.

So how would this work.  Would we have to redefine how journalism reports politics.  Is it more about solution finding than blame pointing.  Would we have to reform our attitude towards party politics and look at the longer game rather than the short term votes. 

Perhaps over the next few years we have to define how we want our society to run.  Do we want it the same way as before?  With all the challenges and changes happening in politics, banking and the media I think now is a great time to innovate how we live in our society.  Let's look to society outcomes rather than pointing blame.  Let's find economical solutions that help us, our children and our planet not just quick fixes. 

How do we do this.  I'm not sure but it starts when someone like Bill Clinton is posing the argument that politician have to have the right to fail in order to truly succeed.  

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