Australia

Public servants to share epic policy fails

A government department aiming to foster innovation among bureaucrats is hosting an event for public servants to share their biggest policy failures.

Public servants will have the chance own up to their biggest failures, but only in the safe company of their peers.

A team within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is charged with fostering innovation and encouraging bureaucrats to think outside their usual boxes when dealing with complex conundrums.

And it's joining a global movement to discuss and even celebrate professional failure in the interest of helping leaders and policy-makers take better-informed decisions.

The Public Sector Innovation Network is hosting its first-ever "APS F@#kup Night" on July 25, billed as "an afternoon of open and honest stories of the lessons learned from failure, told by three senior executives from the federal government".

"The stories of the business that crashes and burns, the partnership deal that goes sour, the product that has to be recalled, they tell them all," its spiel says.

But the lessons from the public servants' screw-ups won't be shared too widely, with the event's audience restricted to people with a government email address.

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