Giving Compass’ Take:
• Jean Case, a co-founder of the Case Foundation, shares principles of fearlessness that she believes are qualities necessary to create meaningful innovation in philanthropy.
• How can other philanthropists adopt the same principles? Are they universal to all family foundations?
• Read the Giving Compass Guide on family philanthropy.
My husband, Steve, and I started the Case Foundation in 1997 with a fearless mission: to invest in people and ideas that can change the world. This means we’re always investigating and experimenting to find the best ideas out there, the best leaders, the best models for innovation.
A few years ago, we engaged a team of experts to determine the “secret sauce” that propelled those rare leaders, organizations, and movements to success. They discovered five principles that are consistently present when transformational breakthroughs take place. To spark this sort of change, you must:
- Make a Big Bet. So many people and organisations are naturally cautious. They look at what seemed to work in the past and try to do more of it, leading to only incremental advances.
- Be bold, take risks. Have the guts to try new, unproven things and the rigour to continue experimenting. Risk taking is not a blind leap off a cliff but a lengthy process of trial and error.
- Make failure matter. Great achievers view failure as a necessary part of advancing towards success.
- Reach beyond your bubble. Our society is in thrall to the myth of the lone genius. But innovation happens at intersections.
- Let urgency conquer fear. Don’t overthink and over analyse. It’s natural to want to study a problem from all angles, but getting caught up in questions like “What if we’re wrong? What if there’s a better way?” can leave you paralysed with fear. Allow the compelling need to act to outweigh all doubts and setbacks.
Read the full article about principles of fearlessness by Jean Case at National Geographic
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