The post is written by guest expert, Richard Boly, Director of the Office of eDiplomacy, U.S. Department of State.
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
But all too often in government, another famous saying carries the day: Success has many fathers. Failure is an orphan.
Government employees can feel under a microscope, with failure trumpeted in the press by third parties to bolster their positions. By leaving the discussion of what doesn’t work to outsiders, we cede the possibility for honest learning from truthful introspection.
FAILFaire: A place where it’s ok to talk about what didn’t work.
When: May 7, 2:25-3:30
Where: “Driving Innovation in Risk-Averse Environments” session in the Excellence in Government conference in the Ronald Reagan Building in DC.
What: Three brave, fellow govies will stand before us for ten minutes each, using a modified version of Pecha Kucha – 20 slides, auto advancing every 30 seconds – to tell a first-person account of learning from failure.
After the third presentation, the audience votes for their favorite presentation; followed by a panel discussion with the three presenters. After the discussion, the winner of the first annual federal FailFaire will be announced.
Fine print: Tell a personal story (no blaming others, no humble brag) that includes:
- What was the project?
- What were you trying to do?
- What was the fail/where did it go wrong?
- What would you do differently next time (or never do again!)?
- What lessons can be learned?
About the guest blogger: Richard Boly is a career U.S. diplomat and currently the Director of the Office of eDiplomacy, an applied technology think tank for the U.S. Department of State. Previously, he was a National Security Affairs Fellow the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he launched the Global Entrepreneurship Program. He recently served in U.S. Embassy, Rome, where he developed and ran a program to promote entrepreneurship in Italy.