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Celebrating Failure to Success


You have to first try if you are ever to eventually succeed. Failure is often but a stop along the journey

I attended a Strategy and Innovation event in London yesterday and if I’m being a little negative, these events tend to be similar with ‘real insights’ being pretty rare.

However Miranda Drummond, of LBG, introduced the idea of ‘The Church of Failure.’ Congregations are brought together at Lloyds Banking Group to celebrate failure. Behind a pulpit the confessor opens the lid on a recent innovation that didn't go well and when finished the congregation “clap and holler until their hands hurt!” A little embarrassing one could imagine for us reserved European types but it is intended to shock change the culture to one where we learn from failures rather than hide them under a blanket of shame.

Talking to another colleague this morning I heard of a similar concept, albeit a little riskier in its title, called Fuckup Nights!

Originating in Mexico and particularly embraced by the start-up community, people from all sectors get together once a month to publicly celebrate their ‘fuckups’ with the underlying reason of destigmatising failure and instead making them learning events. There’s even a ‘how to’ guide to start your own Fuckup nights

With real innovation initiatives often suffering because top management won't take the risk needed for change to happen, I think we could all learn from attending a Fuckup Night.