Knowledge Management Task Force Meeting February 9
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy
"Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failing is another stepping stone to greatness." - Oprah Winfrey
"Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement." - C.S. Lewis
"There are no secrets to success. It is result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure." - Colin Powell
"Failure is so important [...] It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success..." - J.K. Rowling
We have all heard at least some of these inspiring quotes, from great men (and women!); perhaps even used them once or twice. To reassure both others and ourselves that failure is not a bad thing, and is instead an inevitable part of learning and improving.
But failure still seems to be a touchy subject in the field of international development.
Sharing failure takes courage and frank, open discourse; which is sometimes difficult or frightening for us to do. And right and wrong, we do tend to worry about whether admitting to failure will make us an unappealing partner for donors.
But when we do acknowledge that we have ‘failed’, we seize the opportunity to learn and to scrutinize our mistakes in a way that helps us improve and innovate. As a result, we can do a better job in working towards achieving long-lasting impact through our shared experiences and collective learning.
The FSN Network's Knowledge Management Task Force hosted an honest and open dialogue on failure, led by presentations from April Thompson from KDAD and Vidhya Sriram from CARE USA. The meeting discussed various approaches each organization has used to learn from failure and improve results.
- Learn to Fail, Or Fail to Learn by April Thompson
- Learning From Failure: CARE's Why We Lose by Vidhya Sriram
Please share your experiences at the online discussion: 'F' for Failure Discussion Post
Learn more about the Task Forces here.