Stefon Harris: There are no mistakes on the bandstand.

The only mistakes happen when each person is not aware and accepting enough of his fellow band members to allow for creativity.

Photo of Elysa Fenenbock
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Stefon Harris is super inspiring in the way he thinks about team building, and setting the stage and space to allow his band members' creativity to flourish. He believe mistakes only happen when bandmates don't effectively listen to each other and build off of new notes. There is no actual 'mistake,' but an opportunity to build new ideas. Seems like a beautiful way to think about 'mistakes' to me, and a great analogy for how we think about experimenting and prototyping.

He also talks about how micromanaging limits the creativity of the people around him. I believe great leaders let the people around them flourish and give them enough room to be creative. 


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Photo of Jessica Lura

Thanks for video--I also, like Moss, hadn't really thought about teams and collaboration in this way. Loved his talk. It reiterates the importances of listening which is not valued as much as it should be in terms of habits to build in students.

A couple of the contributions talk about mistakes and errors in terms of them being opportunities--this one as well as one that a TED talk from a physics PhD candidate, and Tom Chi talks about the importance of learning fast and figuring out what works from your prototypes--why is it that the experts in fields understand that learning wanders and is iterative while the majority of people see it as a point of failure?

Photo of Elysa Fenenbock

Well, is it the chicken or the egg? I might argue that it's people who understand this people that are able to form great teams and attract great talent, thereby becoming successful and 'experts'...rather that the other way around. So then the question becomes, what kind of behaviors must you practice in order to attract a great team around you?

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