Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Help Us Celebrate Your Failures. Really.

ARCHIVES
Paul Maguire/Shutterstock.com

You’ve heard the expression “success has many fathers; failure is an orphan.” Help us turn that around at our May 7 Excellence in Government conference here in Washington. We’re looking for a few brave souls willing to own their failures in the interest of helping their peers learn from their mistakes.

Government employees sometimes feel as if they’re under a microscope. The media often trumpet your failures with a little help from third parties with an ax to grind. But by leaving the discussion of what doesn’t work to outsiders, federal employees cede the possibility for honest learning that comes from truthful introspection. If you’ve ever reached for programmatic glory only to fall short, please consider sharing your story with the State Department’s Richard Boly and myself at a session aimed at teasing out the lessons to be learned from this sort of failure.

Here are the particulars:

There’s actually a name for this event: A failfaire.

Your job: Using a modified version of the presentation methodology Pecha Kucha -- 20 slides, autoadvancing every 30 seconds – tell a first-person account about learning from failure. Richard and I will work with you to help you make this compelling.

After three presenters tell their stories, our audience will vote for their favorite presentation, after which we’ll have a discussion about what was learned from the experiences.

Lastly, we’ll announce the winner of the first federal Failfaire. If you think this could be you, please send me an email at kpeters@govexec.com and put “failfaire” in the subject line.

A few more particulars about the presentations: They should tell a personal story (no blaming others) that describes the project, the goal, where it went wrong, what you would do differently (or never again), and what lessons others might take from your experience.

(Image via Paul Maguire/Shutterstock.com)

 

Katherine is deputy editor of Government Executive Media Group, a division of Atlantic Media, where she oversees editorial coverage for GovExec.com and Government Executive magazine. She previously was executive editor of Nextgov.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.