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Fail Log

Check back often for stories and perspectives from Fail Safe speakers and organizers.

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Fail Log #3 - Why Ashley Good Wears the 'Failure Expert' Tag with Pride

Leading up to Fail Safe, we're asking speakers and panelists to spill the beans about their lives, work, and experiences with failure. Read on and learn a little bit about who you'll be connecting with this October.


Next up, we have Ashley Good, whose passion for emboldening organizations to take risks and innovation has taken her around the world. As the Founder & CEO of the world's first failure consultancy, Ashley brings a plethora of stories and experience to the table at Fail Safe. Here's a glimpse into what she's bringing to Edmonton this October.



Tell us a little bit about yourself.


Not many would call themselves a Failure Expert with a sense of pride and purpose… but I do. Since 2011, I have helped diverse businesses, governments, funders, and non-profits harness their failures to learn, innovate, and build resilience. This work has been recognized by the Harvard Business Review and McKinsey’s Innovating Innovation Award, and has received coverage from a wide range of media and news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company.


Before launching Fail Forward, I worked in Cairo with the United Nations Environment Programme and as a management consultant in Vancouver, Canada. I’m a contributor to the Globe and Mail Leadership Lap, Public Sector Digest, and World Economic Forum Agenda, and thoroughly enjoy discussions of risk, innovation, and learning with anyone interested to dive in. When I’m not doing this work, I moonlight as a mediocre bicycle mechanic and half-ironman triathlete.


When you hear the word "failure", what's the first thing that pops into your head?


It's complicated.


What's your earliest memory of failing at something?


Kindergarten talent show. I was demonstrating my talent for balance in front of the class by surfing on a rocking horse and fell off!


What do you hope attendees will go away with when they attend Fail Safe 2018?


To feel fascinated, motivated and challenged by failure. To respond to failure by letting in light a fire in them to learn.


What's the biggest lesson you've learned from a failure you've experienced? Tell us about the high and low.


My recurring failure is playing it too safe. It's a failure of seizing opportunities and challenging myself.


The low is that I often feel I am falling short of my potential. The lesson I learn, which is also the high, is once I get over the initial fear and start to act I actually love pushing myself to do new, risky things.


What's the key to letting go and learning from failure?


Different things work for different people but for me it is avoiding the urge to beat myself up in order to accept what has happened, followed by sharing the experience with someone I love who will ask me really good questions.


To learn more about Ashley, head over to the Fail Forward website or give them a follow on Twitter at @FailForward.


Connect with Ashley and hear more about her story this October at Fail Safe. Register now.