Opinion: It's time to celebrate failure
Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing
Opinon: It's time to celebrate failure
By Dan Slee, co-founder of comms2point0, who will be speaking at the #ukhousing CommsHeroes event in Manchester on May 13.
Haven't we all failed at one time or another? Haven't we learned from it? So isn't it about time we stopped pretending and shared the learning?
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to celebrate failure.
Not just the small I've-forgotten-to-put-the-bins out fail but the epic failures that really leave egg on your face.
So, say it once say it proud, I've failed and I'm proud.
Because he or she who really knows the bitter pill of underachieving is dealt a golden weight of life lessons that will make them better.
'Fail fast, fail forward,' is a good maxim to follow.
'Fail and do the same thing over and over again,' probably isn't.
So, why celebrate failure?
Let's look at some of the great success stories, shall we?
Walt Disney went bust twice and was reduced to eating dog food before his third attempt worked.
Henry Ford went bust before he came back with the winning formula.
Colonel Sanders was a failed potato farmer who reinvented himself as a Southern gentlemen with a recipe for fried chicken.
In communications, it's not so different. Not everything you do will come off. Sometimes things won't work. But by doing you will learn.
Now, I'm not saying go out and do stupid things. So park up the animation of your chief executive as a botherer of goats.
But in life, the risk of taking no risk is that you won't grow, that you will live your life in a bunker getting your meals delivered on a tray.
There are some corking comms fails in PR. Justine Sacco, British Gas's Twitter chat and the Findus horse meat saga spring to mind.
At the CommsHeroes event on May 13 I'll be talking about my own fails and those of others. One of my own was to give a member of staff access to the council account when the Olympic Torch came to Walsall. He forgot he was using the council account when he posted a series of tweets blasting education minister Michael Gove with the hashtag #saveusfromtheposhboys. We were a Tory council. It wasn't fun. What was the learning? Use different platforms to seperate work and your own streams. Politicians can be understanding.
You can book a place for the CommsHeroes event in Manchester on May 13 here and there's a rather good line-up including John Popham, Helen Reynolds, Grant Leboff and chaired by Caroline King. The event was put together by Asif Choudy at Resource Housing.
I'd genuinely love to hear - anonymously if you'd rather - your own fails to show that we are all indeed human and we can all learn from your mistakes. Or ones you have seen.
Feel free to email them to Dan@comms2point0.co.uk
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