The 29 October I went to the Fail Faire at IFAD.
Roxy organized and promoted the event to help all of us to openly discuss and share professional failures. The objective was, and is, to be able to manage failures and get the best out of them: learning by doing, in a certain way.
I met interesting people like Tim Harford, Aleem Walji, Dave Snowden and Ashley Good, who animated to the event, heard very fascinating stories about failures and errors, and brought with me the following key messages:
- We need to realize that we do a very complex job. Working for the UN is not as easy and simple as you can think. The level of complexity due to the very different people, the languages, the topics and, most of all, the “politics”, is incredibly high. This should be much clearer to everyone and, in my opinion, would require much more attention, time and efforts than the ones currently dedicated;
- If you don’t fail you did not try to innovate. It is only changing that you innovate. It is in the change that you take your risks. Think about it if you are proud of not failing in your job;
- Communication is fundamental for what we do. We should talk and talk and talk. And then talk again in order to be clear and aligned and always ready to move ahead together. Think about your recent past, make the “failures emerge” and then talk about them with someone you trust in order analyse them and focus on the the reasons and try to avoid them in the future. If you talk about the reasons of you failure with someone they will be evident and it is more difficult for you to repeat them in the future.
Last but not least: trust is always a key element in this learning process.
The event was very useful mostly because it is fundamental to think and zoom out from what we are currently doing, and develop new and better ideas for the future.