The Healthcare sector is facing major changes. More customization, emphasis on quality of life, targeted funding and a shift to ‘self-management’ by the patient. Renewal that will be accompanied with successes and failures. Because new initiatives not always work out as planned. But this is a good thing. Innovation is mainly created due to research on what works, and what not. The ability to learn and adapt is a strength. But courage is needed for this. And an open dialogue.
However it is standard practice not to share our failures. The Institute of Brilliant Failures wants to change this habit. Because in professional environments it is often failure which is needed for progress. In 2017 and 2018 we pay extra attention on increasing the ability to learn within the health care sector. We do this by, for example, the 4th Award for Brilliant Failures within Health Care on December 7, 2017. In addition, we will do research on the attitude of healthcare professionals dealing with failures and realization of their tailor-made learning program in collaboration with the Federation Medical Specialists. Ultimately, we want to contribute to the process of increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare. We want to encourage professionals and organizations to learn from their outcomes and their approaches within innovative projects in an enthusiastic way. In addition, we want to ensure that no knowledge is spoiled within organizations and sectors (double loop learning).
Municipality Amsterdam Course
The municipality is a dynamic and complex system with a lot of interaction between different sectors. As a result, pre-planned activities work out differently from planned. On behalf of the municipality of Amsterdam, we set up the program for Brilliant Failures and directly started with two departments. Aim of this project is to emphasize the core value ‘we learn from mistakes’, thus boosting the transparency and learning ability within the organization. This creates a safe environment in which everyone feels free to discuss ideas, even when the ideas turned out to be mistakes. The participants are challenged to reflect on their own work and projects, look for important lessons and then share them. Another important part of the course is an environmental check that checks for the creation, sharing and learning ability in the context of failures within your organization.
Permanent parts of the program are inspirational lectures, dialogue sessions which share experiences and learned lessons, pitching your own learned lessons and other activities tailored to common topics and issues within your department.
Development Cooperation Course
With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Institute of Brillant Failures, in 2010, 2011 and 2012 awarded their Award for the best lesson learned in the field of development cooperation, with the aim of contributing more transparency and entrepreneurship within the sector. The course involved, among other things, brilliant failures within, but also outside the Ministry’s walls.
One of the winning cases concerned the Belgian organisation Peace Islands (‘Vredeseilanden’). After two failed attempts with lending from western countries, the organisation succeeded in setting up an effective local agricultural procedural system in Congo. Crucial for the ultimate success is lending by local savings cooperatives instead of by foreign parties.
Another winner of our Award was the Text to Change (TTC) organization that set up an HIV / AIDS information quiz in Uganda via text message. However, the 666 code assigned by the authorities raised many questions with partners. 666 is referred to the devil’s number and the involved (Christian) partners therefore wanted to quit the program at once. Fortunately, the code could be eventually changed to 777… The example from Congo underlines the evolutionary nature of projects, the example of Uganda shows that not only technical and external factors play a role. In both submissions, it was mentioned that lesson were learned directly from their mistakes.