In the age of self promotion, collecting "followers", and even sharing the reach or price of your social network on your social network, I submitted a session for the February TCEA Convention called FailCon in hopes of going back to a time when sharing your failures didn't compromise your social reputation.
I'm happy to report that this has been approved as a 90-minute session during TCEA. Not ideal for a mini-con but a good start for the first time. Who knows, maybe it will fail completely?
FailCon is actually a company leadership event catching on across the globe. It is the idea of having leaders share stories of failure in order to prepare for success. In 2008, Engineers without Borders started writing and publishing their annual Failure Report. Their site explains "[we] believe that success in development is not possible without taking risks and innovating - which inevitably means failing sometimes". Their report showcases the decisions and outcomes of failure along with how the failure still brought about innovative change.
I know I am starting to sound like an old fogey when I refer to "the times before". But there was a time previous to social media and everyone's own conferences when the statewide convention was where we would connect, commiserate, and motivate one another. A trip to a state conference meant you could share with others what you were doing and they understood your lingo, language, and passion because they were trying the same thing.
We all had similar failures. We had different successes.
But we were willing to admit these failures openly because we weren't competing with one another for followers or conference attendees. We weren't building our brands. We weren't self promoting. We weren't followed by our district communication department, principals, superintendents, or others like we are now on Twitter.
And all this isn't bad. It is just how the times have changed.
So FailCon is an idea of gathering a group together to share about failure and what was learned by failing. I'll be co-presenting with my pal Eddie Mathews from Kerrville ISD. We are also going to borrow from Jean Case's Be Fearless campaign to encourage people to continue to move forward after failure in order to make big change in their organization.
I'm posting about this in November because I am really excited by the session. And it may be something worthwhile or maybe it fails utterly. Either way, it is going to be great to try out!