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What are some of the key differences in cultures of success and cultures of failure?

Has anyone studied this phenomenon? Is there a Talk on this and I just missed it.
What is the difference in the company culture at Apple compared to Compaq? Facebook vs. MySpace. The Bengals football organization vs. The Patriots. Schools who consistently have graduation rates of 98% vs. those who schools who have < 50% of their students?
It just seems that those organizations who “win” keep winning and those who “lose” keep loosing so why is that? Any ideas?


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  • May 15 2013: Well, thank you all for the enlightened responses. I suppose I was presupposing too much. Success for an individual should be individually defined, but I suppose I was talking about organizational success. By organizational I mean where people have to work together to achieve a common goal. By definition success then is defined as meeting the stated objective. I know that failures can lead to success, but it seems that in some organizations the very idea of meeting the stated goals is a forgone conclusion. Failure and learning from it is accepted and in some cases encouraged, but the end result will be that the goals are met. On the other hand, in some organizations meeting the goal is not a presupposition at all. In fact it is presupposed that they will not meet the objective.
    Has anyone heard any TED talks about this general idea of acceptance of failure and expected success and the causes of each organizational mind set?
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      May 16 2013: Here are the talks related to failure: http://www.ted.com/talks/tags/failure

      But here is JKRowling on failure, which somehow did not get tagged that way: http://www.ted.com/talks/jk_rowling_the_fringe_benefits_of_failure.html
    • May 18 2013: The success of an organization is almost incidental to the success of the individuals who comprise that organization. If the individuals are well suited to their responsibilities and excited about the potential to have a positive impact, then the organization will be successful by default. Organizations exist to serve the needs of individuals, not the other way around. To much time is spent in trying to re-engineer individuals to fit a need rather than in finding and developing the right individual to fulfill that need.

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