Being able to create and innovate in times of social, economic and political turbulence is event more important. But the fear of failure can be debilitating, paralysing and painful.
When failure occurs, how can we move from feeling blame and the consequent closing of our minds, to a place where we can be open and learn from failure?
The Glory of Failure project has come about through a group of Fellows trying to explore these and other questions on failure, and to promote the benefits of failure within organisations and individuals and society, with the aim of living in a world where we can create, innovate, and thrive free from the stigma of failure.
In common with others in pursuit of 21st Century Enlightenment, our objective is to effect a change in how we think of ourselves, as well as a change in our culture, stimulating innovative responses to shared problems. We are not only thinking about failure, but also “thinking about thinking” about failure, and seeking transformational responses at every level.
We are making our first public steps in a learning process that breaks the taboos of failure, and seeking to change the terms of engagement with failure in different fields. Our book “The Failure Files: perspectives on failure” is a record of our progress to date. In 2011 our team are touring the UK presenting their various perspectives. We are not flinching from the hard questions or from reflecting on our ability to answer them.
Esmee Wilcox, a Fellow based in Norfolk, with experience of working with Ministers and Special Advisers in reactive political environments, developing cross-government strategies and now working in Local Government in Suffolk, will begin by explaining the project, and then talk about her experiences of failure in government (chapter 10 of the book), before opening up the conversation to explore:
“What are our common experiences of the characteristics of failure in organisations that generate insights into how we might create more positive responses to failure?”
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