26–28 October 2015
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Fear of failing fast: How to avoid sabotaging your success

Leslie Hawthorn (Red Hat)
11:00–11:40 Monday, 26/10/2015
Collaboration and Craft
Location: G 106/107
Average rating: ****.
(4.19, 16 ratings)

While it’s easy to pay lip service to the idea of innovating by failing fast, humans are both neurally geared and financially incentivized to avoid failure. We’ve all heard the tales of woe: blameless reviews that were anything but blameless; encouragement to work on an experimental project with punishment being the primary result of its failure; and the associated fear of doing anything new, speculative or untried. The results are simple: individuals, teams, and companies that stagnate slowly.

So how can we create an environment that makes failing fast safe for the participants and their organizations? In this talk, we’ll cover key strategies for creating an environment that fosters rapid innovation in your organization, including:

  • Conducting effective and truly blameless project post-mortems
  • Creating an organizational culture of failing the right way
  • Measuring the impacts of positive failure – and failing to fail – on your organization’s bottom line

Attendees will leave this presentation with concrete strategies to conquer their own fear of failure, and to help their organizations do the same.

Photo of Leslie Hawthorn

Leslie Hawthorn

Red Hat

Leslie Hawthorn is director of developer relations at Red Hat. An internationally known developer relations strategist and community management expert, Leslie has spent the past decade creating, cultivating, and enabling open source communities. She’s best known for creating the world’s first initiative to involve pre-university students in open source software development, launching Google’s #2 developer blog, and receiving an O’Reilly Open Source Award in 2010. Her career has provided her with the opportunity to develop, hone, and share open source expertise spanning enterprise to NGOs, including senior roles at Google, the Open Source Initiative, the OSU Open Source Lab, and Elastic. She lives with her partner in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. You can read her thoughts on her blog. If you cheer during movies when you hear the words “I fight for the users” or “Get your head out of your cockpit,” the two of you will likely get along famously.