Category Archives: Failure

10 Questions About Failure (And Whether It’s An Option)

Gene Kranz, Mission Control chief for the Apollo moon landing, was famously attributed the quote ‘failure is not an option’. In reality, he never uttered those words (although he did borrow them for the title of his autobiography). The quote … Continue reading

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#WorkingOutLoud on Big Loop Learning Organisations

Building out the work on ‘Big Loop Organisations’ today by exploring aspects of what it means to be ‘big’. The notion behind this is that legacy Organisations typically fall to ‘Diminishing Spirals’ of learning, as opposed to maintaining a momentum … Continue reading

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Fallout: The Failure of Dominant Narratives

A dominant narrative is a story that takes on a life of it’s own: it becomes the accepted norm. Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s, all across the United States, tens of thousands of nuclear fallout shelters were built, nearly twenty … Continue reading

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12 Modes of Failure

Organisations fail for a broad range of reasons, but rarely for no reason at all. I found myself thinking about a taxonomy of failure: unless we deem failure to be the action of idiots and fools, we must be open … Continue reading

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‘Safety Making’ – 9 routes to failure

I used a phrase in the blog yesterday, and it’s been stuck in my mind ever since: “People are engaged in some kind of mass hysteria, and mass ‘safety making’”. ‘Safety Making’: I wrote the sentence on an impulse: i … Continue reading

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Designing a ‘Festival of Failure’. A #WorkingOutLoud post

Today i am sharing some elements of the design around failure: it’s for a one day ‘Festival of Failure’, a structured ‘sense making’ event, to act as the foundation for change. A celebration of failure is not about blame, but … Continue reading

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To Fail Fairly

I’m generally unconvinced when people say “it’s ok to fail”. Because it generally isn’t. Failing is typically rewarded with blame and loss. And it can be unfair: not unfair in the judgement, but in the distribution. When we fail, we … Continue reading

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The Post Hoc Rationalisation Fallacy

I suspect it’s true that many organisations are highly successful almost despite everything that they do in the formal space to make themselves so. They are successful not because of hierarchy, rules, systems, or control, but rather because they are … Continue reading

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Failure in Social Leadership: a case study for Mozilla

When Brendan Eich, newly installed boss at Mozilla resigned this week after only a month in role, it was largely because of a failure by that organisation to recognise the realities of the Social Age and the importance of Social … Continue reading

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Mobile Learning: The gulf between learning strategy and learning reality

It’s all about perspective. When you sit within a problem, the walls loom up around you, whilst from the outside, the problem can seem quite small, easily surmountable. Perspective is hard to find and harder to retain, so any strategy … Continue reading

Posted in Challenge, Change, E-Learning, Failure, Formal Spaces, Learning, M-Learning, Mindset, Mistakes, Mobile Apps, Mobile Learning | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments