Failure culture

Don’t Hide – Show off!

Failure feels terrible for most humans. At work, many people prefer to play safe, as they fear to be blamed for mistakes. For companies, this behavior can have fatal consequences because errors are inevitable for innovation. How can we put an end to the horror of failure? We recommend an unusual ritual: the failure party. At this event, failures are not hidden – they are celebrated.

It is one of the easiest ways to strengthen a company's error culture: the failure party is part of the fixed repertoire of the start-up scene, and it is also becoming increasingly popular within large companies. The concept became known internationally under the bold name "Fuckup Night".

Give it up for bankruptcies, bad luck and mishaps!

You would like to invite your employees to share their own failures, to learn from the mistakes of others or to silently admit their own errors? This is how you throw an unforgettable failure party:

  • Find three to four colleagues who are willing to share their mistakes. These can be professional, athletic or other failures.

  • Each speech lasts about five minutes. The colleagues should talk freely and without slides. Background images are allowed as well as items that relate to the topic.

  • After each contribution, listeners have five minutes to ask questions.

  • A gong or another clear signal ends the performance – time for the next story.

  • When the speeches are over, all colleagues can come together to share their experiences while having snacks and drinks.

  • To destigmatize failure effectively, we recommend you to organize failure parties regularly, for example on a quarterly basis.

If you would like to present the idea in a meeting, this YouTube clip about failure parties might be useful:

Please click on the image to open the video in a new window.