CYGNA: Our 4th Christmas meeting - failure & fun

Reports on our 56th CYGNA meeting - two hours filled with stories about rejections in journal publishing, secret santa, and new year resolutions

In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we ran a Christmas meeting for our CYGNA network. It was so well-received that it has become a regular feature of our CYGNA meeting year and we ran it again in December 2024. Links to our three prior meetings are below.

This year we had a record number of 39 participants, 37 of whom are shown above; the other two could only make the second hour. We were also happy to welcome no less than seven new CYGNA members at the meeting: Sanne Bor, Earoel Kennedy, Samia Mahmood, Jane Neal-Smith, Salma Raheem, Katharina Spaeth and Thuy Tran. Welcome to the network!

Several of them had also attended our new members meeting just before our Christmas bash. This is a new feature of our CYGNA network, initiated and led by Ciara O'Higgins. To date we have held three new members meetings. They have been highly successful in providing our new members a gentle introduction into the network, making them feel at home before attending their first meeting.

This year's Christmas meeting was expertly organised by Satkeen Azizzadeh (part of our UK/Europe team), Helene Tenzer, and Shasha Zhao (part of our consulting team). They had prepared a great mix of content and informal interactions (see the flyers below) that simply made the two hours fly by. By the end of the meeting we had heard lots of stories and had had lots of fun, but also had a chat that was overflowing.  When I copied it to Word it ran to more than 10,000 words!

A story of failure, persistence, and success

In our October meetings (CYGNA: Past, present, and future), several CYGNA members had indicated that they would like to talk more about our failures. We don't often do that in academia and tend to focus on our successes. But every success is the cumulation of a lot of attempts. Many of our attempts fail. If we would all write a CV of failures it would be much longer than our regular CV.

When publishing academic articles in the field of Business & Management, rejections are the rule, not the exception. If we aim for the top journals in our field, it might even be multiple rejections, sometimes after revising the paper a number of times. If this has happened to you (it has certainly happened to me lots of times!), you might find some solace in this video with a wonderful story by Helene Tenzer. It is as funny as it is instructive, and it does have a happy ending.

It was interesting to have Helene present her 10-year publication story as - nearly nine years ago - she was one of the first presenters in the CYGNA network (see: CYGNA: Publishing in Management, Psychology and International Business). Her presentation about Targeting High-Ranking IB journals: Personal experiences is worth revisiting.

Secret santa and new year resolutions

As in previous years we ran a secret santa. Each of us had to - anonymously - share something interesting about failure or our non-work lives that others would be unlikely to know. It was great fun and we all enjoyed getting to know a bit more about each others' lives beyond work. We also did a round of new year resolutions. Many of us vouched to focus more on what is important to us, both at work and outside work and say no more often than we have in the past. These blogposts might be helpful with this:

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