I was inspired by an event I attended called F*&k Up Nights Cape Town.
We live in a world of instant gratification and we are getting better at celebrating our achievements. I am a firm believer that this is very important. The travel industry hosts some grand and innovative ideas. Some ideas succeed, some fail – but it is so much easier to only talk about the ones that succeed. I get it, we all have egos, including me.
So sharing success stories comes easily – failures not so much.
Yet, we have all learned in life that we learn the most when we learn from our mistakes. If we shared our mistakes, could we make bigger leaps and move further faster? Could we provide better products, be quicker in providing answers and solutions with valuable conservation projects? Could we support local start-ups better and encourage personal growth within our businesses better?
I wanted to create a discussion about what it means to share failures and how we could do it in a meaningful and safe way.
What were the three most important take-aways from the discussion?
1 – You need to know your vision and what your business stands for in order to see a mistake, accept it, own it and then share it with the industry and most importantly – share what you have learned from it. [An important point raised from Hilton – Great Plains Conservation]
2 – The industry wants to hear when you messed up – it makes you human; it gives you credibility owning a mistake and sharing what you will change from here on. [Priscilla – Global Sojourns]
3 – All attendees seemed keen to share innovations and mistakes; yet let’s also look at the bigger failures we created through the way tourism has developed and tackle some bigger mistakes we have made. Topics such as ‘single-use-plastics’ as well as conservation issues in the Selous in Tanzania were raised. [Colin Bell – Natural Selection] The result being – go out there, create a safe forum, and start sharing your mistakes and take other people’s mistakes as feedback. We may not learn from other people’s mistakes and only learn from our own – but we can certainly make use of this valuable feedback. [Peter Allison – Natural Selection]
Where to from here?
I hope to have encouraged people to share more and have put a different spin on collaboration. How about a stage and time slot to share business failures at next year’s FUSE during We Are Africa?
Last question – how did it feel?
It’s never easy putting yourself out there and sharing an idea and you cannot control how the crowd will react – not having an influence on the outcome is not something that comes easily to me. So I was nervous and my voice (or what was left of it – those who attended are witnesses) was shaking. However, it is always good to share something you are passionate about or just putting a new idea out there. I am always grateful for the support from industry colleagues and continue to be amazed how innovative and daring our industry can be!