Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kevin Carroll- Rules of the Red Rubber Ball Part 2- Fail Better

In the second part of our conversation with Kevin Carroll, we talk about the concept of "fail better". Part of the important aspect of play is that it lets you experiment and riff in a safe environment, where failing and retrying, tinkering, and treating things as your lab is well tolerated. In contrast, work environments tend to be much more high risk, and making mistakes are something full of shame- it's what makes people try to cover up errors, rather than own them, understand them, and do something different next time.

Great companies that focus on design and innovation like IDEO (known for the ipod, swiffer, and other great products) they start with Understanding the problem or situation at hand, followed by detailed Observation, Brainstorming and prototyping solutions. We have to remember this same process can work for organizing our kitchens; talking to our kids about getting a homework center that works with them rather than against them, or any other problem at hand. Innovation comes from creativity and being willing to take risks and as Kevin states, being willing to Fail Better than ever before.

Click here to listen or download Show 110- Kevin Carroll, Katalyst- Fail Better

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Show # 109 Kevin Carroll- Katalyst- The Rules of the Red Rubber Ball

Welcome Back!

We took a bit of a haitus, in part due to construction going on at my house (recording would have sounded like I was living in traffic) and a brief trip overseas I took with my husband.

The good news is that I am back, rested, and have a ton of wonderful interviews to bring you in relatively rapid succession!

First up is our two part interview with Kevin Carroll. Kevin has written a new book, The Red Rubber Ball at Work, where he looks at what Dr. Stuart Brown would call play histories of successful adults. Surprisingly, much of what kids enjoyed and made them happy as kids finds its way into their work. And apparently, LEGO has some sort of magic, but listen to hear more!

In the first half of the interview, Kevin and I talk of his growing up outside of Philadelphia, and how a red rubber playground ball saved his life. Kevin's had a remarkable life so far, and serves as a real inspiration. His book, The Rules of the Red Rubber Ball is one of my favorite gift books- the books I pass on to people I care about, and people who need it's message of finding your own red rubber ball- that special thing, and then how to use it to build success in your life.

While our previous show was all about the importance of play, this show is about connecting the dots- and brings home the idea on many levels that our childhood and how we learn to create, what makes us excited, helps shape who we are and informs what we do as adults.

At the end of today's show, we also have two minutes of out-takes, talking about the National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, a place I often take my kids when we're visiting my mom. The Strong Museum/National Museum of Play also publishes an academic journal about the importance of play, that educators really should take a look at, if they have not already.

Click here to listen to Show #109, Kevin Carroll, Rules of the Red Rubber Ball

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