FAILING FORWARD – Tales from a Set-Back Fair

As the first speaker approached the podium, several people shifted nervously in their chairs – possibly wondering how _precisely_ a Set-Back fair would play out. Would it be a naming and shaming affair? How could a circle of trust be built? How would the atmosphere engender learning? It felt a lot like rocket science until the TED-talk styled sharing session began. In introducing the session, the Facilitator described the event as, “A session which involves sharing an idea that you have worked on that did not work out as well as your failures in implementing a project. It includes x-raying the factors that have impeded or delayed your progress which gives us the opportunity to reflect and learn”. The first speaker began with a quote by Jon Sinclair which goes, “Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo” indicative of the fact that set-back is a temporary rather than permanent state. It was a 5-course buffet of five amazing speakers. Five different perspectives. Five rich experiences. Five courageous tales. Five opportunities to learn. We laughed. A lot. We ooooed and ahhhed! We got teary-eyed. We learnt, unlearnt and re-learnt. Contributors shared their top tips from the session which include: - Do not overpromise and underdeliver. Rather, under promise and overdeliver - Do not assume that you will achieve your outcome based on your ‘popularity’. Always ensure you have a mechanism in place to follow up with prospective attendees for your proposed event - Ensure you communicate in clear terms so that everyone can understand. Also check in with the team to ensure you are on the same page - Be elaborate in your terms and conditions. Let everything be clearly spelt out so people know what they are consenting to - Also be mindful in a negotiation and contracting so you do not jeopardize yourself, your team or your organization. Understand what you are consenting to and ensure it a win-win situation for all parties involved - Always have stakeholders you carry along as their wisdom and experience will guide and help you navigate challenges that may arise - It is important to pay people what they are worth - Carry out scenario planning to help you prepare for anything that could go wrong. Also have a crisis management plan in place. However, life happens regardless of your preparations and that is OK - It is okay to fail. Actually, it is a fantastic occurrence on your path to success because it helps you focus better and figure out what work - When you fail, don’t stop, but strategize and re-strategize. - When you fail, own up to your failure - It is risky not to take risk At the end of the Set-Back fair one thing was certain, every set-back presents an opportunity to grow. Embrace it. And know this - Setbacks are **for** us not **against** us.



Kaseina Dashe


Scribe | Digital Storyteller | Strategic Communication & SBC Specialist | C4D Practitioner | Life Enthusiast!

Posted on Thursday, March 3, 2022


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