We failed three times. Spectacularly.
We’ve been looking at changing some aspects of our organizational culture. How do we treat our colleagues in the workplace? What kind of Jewish values do we have in our daily practice? And what messages, for example, do we give to our teams about experimenting and failing?
We know – in principle – that it’s "ok" to fail.
If you try, and you make a genuine effort, and you fail – and learn from that failure – then we should celebrate that.
Failure is part of the process of succeeding. And we shouldn’t be afraid of it; we should build on it. And we all know that in principle.
But actually shifting to that new way of thinking is challenging. And a little intimidating. No one wants to be the first to stand up and proudly announce their failures when we haven’t (yet) done all we can to make it a positive thing.
So that’s what we did in the federation all-staff meeting the other day. We had a “Fail-Con,” a big celebration of failure. Everyone received a sheet of paper and we gave instructions on paper-plane making. And three brave volunteers stood up and regaled us with a story of a spectacular (and funny) professional failure. The winner with the most paper planes thrown in their approximate direction won a Starbucks card and the crowd’s respect. (It was a tie.)
You can see how an organizational culture can shift in this video. I’m so proud of my colleagues, and our community: this was a big step forward for us. We may fail occasionally, but when we do we’ll learn from our failures.
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