Contents Acknowledgements 2 Executive summary 3 Chapter 1: Why does failure matter? 6 Chapter 2: What do we mean by failure? 7 Chapter 3: Managing failure: experience from four sectors 8 Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council 9 Eltham Foundation School (now the Harris Academy Greenwich) 16 Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 22 West Sussex children’s services 27 Chapter 4: Conclusions 33 The ownership of failure is shared 33 Failure has fluid boundaries 34 Cultural reform is key to responding to failure 34 Next steps 35 Bibliography 36 About the authors 39 Notes 40
FailingWell 2 Acknowledgements Many people gave their time generously to support this research. Thanks are due to all those who agreed to be interviewed for this project and in particular to the people from our case study sites who participated. Without their openness and insights about their experiences of turnaround, this work would not have been possible, or nearly as interesting. We are also grateful to colleagues at the Institute for Government who provided comments on this paper. Jo Casebourne, Gavin Freeguard, Jill Rutter and Nehal Davison deserve special mention. Thanks also to Nicole Valentinuzzi, Julian McCrae and Matthew Batchelor for their help in producing the final report and honing its messages. All views, along with any inaccuracies, errors or omissions, are those of the authors.