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Stanford: Failure Is a Key to Understanding Success

Stanford: Failure Is a Key to Understanding Success

"To illustrate this point, [Jerker Denrell, an assistant professor of organizational behavior] relates a particularly absurd example. All successful executives have at least one thing in common, he tells his students: They all brush their teeth. "Obviously, that's stupid," says Denrell, and nobody would call toothbrushing a determinant of success. Yet when we seek the common denominator of successful organizations, we tend to reach similarly useless conclusions -- unless we compare successes with failures."

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