I came across this great website today which is quite simply called Admitting Failure and it focussing purely on peoples failures within mainly the charity / development sector. On here are thousands of stories from people who work in a variety of settings who are sharing their stories of failure.
There is a long thought idea that failure is bad and shouldn’t happen, but the reality is it happens every day but failure is one of our main means as adults of learning something new. Organisations often focus on what they have achieved rather than what they have learnt so learning from mistakes isn’t shared and passed on. Pointing the finger is never the way to go but giving employees the opportunity to share their mistakes and learning from this provides a catalyst for change. It provides an open organisation where employees feel able to speak out and share experiences which are a learning experience for every employee. And being able to read about similar organisations experiences always gives you the chance to risk manage any new area or project you are thinking of developing.
You can search on google for the correct way of doing a certain project but without living it yourself you can never be fully prepared but this website gives you the chance to think about some of the things that could or might go wrong. It also means similar organisations aren’t making the same mistakes, instead they are learning from them and developing better approaches to doing things.
Many organisations try to promote an open culture amongst staff and have a ‘no blame’ culture but in essence there is always going to be a fear of admitting mistakes – especially in the charity sector where funding is thin and opportunities are rare.
Charities are vitally important to the world as a whole, trying to prevent disadvantage on many scales and in many forms so having the opportunity to share and learn could help change the world, literally. Charities are not known for being the most innovative sector but in being able to admit mistakes you can create a learning organisation that is able to adapt itself to different problems and can deal better with what’s thrown your way.
I’m not saying go on this website and start writing story after story about where your organisation has made mistakes, but being able to share and learn from others is always going to be a good thing. So new project? – take a look at where others have gone wrong. Mistake made? – Create a learning experience, turn the negatives into a positive and share what you have learnt with others. Create those links with similar organisations – they are not always competitors!Admitting Failure and Learning From Mistakes in Charities,
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