Rising Star, Failure and the Way of Innovation


Like over 5 million people, I watched and participated with the premier of ABC’s new reality singing competing “Rising Star” this past Sunday night. I waited to blog about it to see how the world reacted to the premier. Many called it a failure, citing lack of quality singers and glitches (like how the West Coast votes, etc.). I see it as a step in the right direction of television and a true innovation. Like the book says: The Road to Success is Paved with Failure.

As I was watching the show and participating on my iPhone with the show’s special app, I was thinking of how this technology and concept could be used with a variety of shows. Think of how many times you’ve watched a reality show and wanted to vote someone on or off in real time. I think ABC has started something new (innovation) that will evolve and adapt and change the way we watch and interact and engage with television for years to come.

What did you think?

*** For more on the subject of innovation, check out my new book Strange Leadership.

Share Your Story of Risk

I’m collecting stories of risk and would love to hear from you. I’d like to hear if you and your church took a risk and what the outcome was and I’d love to hear if you think a Biblical story demonstrates taking risk. You, my friends, are my partners in writing this book. Please share a story of risk with me.

Sean Payton, Risk and Church Leaders

As I watched the Super Bowl I couldn’t help but be struck by the boldness and guts it took to do the onside kick at the beginning of the second half. I applauded New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton for having the idea and nerve to go for it. For me, I think that recovery of the onside kick changed the rest of the game – there was a momentum shift and the Colts never recovered.

As you know, I’ve been traveling the country for the last 2 years speaking on the subject of innovation. I’ve taught on innovation at several conferences, schools and to regional meetings of Church leaders around the country. After the past 2 years of studying, reading and forming my thoughts on innovation, I’ve come to realize that innovation and risk go hand in hand.

A lot of churches want to be “innovative”, but don’t have the guts or faith to take strategic risks. Hear me Church leaders: sometimes you must be willing to risk it all – that means your organization’s culture has to have a freedom to fail. Successful and innovative organizations and businesses actually reward failure because they realize it’s necessary for breakthroughs in innovation.

I’m working on a book on innovation in which I’ll go into much more detail, but for today I encourage you to chew on this notion of risk and being willing to fail – it just might lead to something amazing in your ministry.

Let me know: When was the last time your church took a risk?