The Value Of Failure

Episodes

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01Arts2014030320170116 (BBC7)
20170117 (BBC7)

Author Anne Enright reflects on the nature of failure in her life.

When struggling to invent the electric light bulb, Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed; I've simply found ten thousand ways that won't work."

In this series, five people from very different spheres of life, reflect on what failure has taught them personally and explain what value those lessons have in their worlds.

The Booker Award-winning author Anne Enright is comfortable with the notion of failure. She considers her experiences of a writer's life - and of having her words judged by the world. She tells the story of one of Ireland's greatest authors, who let the shame of failure cripple him. She also introduces us to Guardian first-book award winner Donal Ryan, who considered himself a success for simply finishing a book to show his wife.

Producer: Catherine Carr.

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

02Military2014030420170117 (BBC7)
20170118 (BBC7)

Former Air vice-marshal Sean Bell on how the forces teach recruits to tackle failure.

When struggling to invent the electric light bulb, Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed; I've simply found ten thousand ways that won't work."

In this series, five people from very different spheres of life reflect on what failure has taught them personally and explain what value those lessons have in their worlds.

Former Air Vice Marshal Sean Bell spent three decades in the military and knows too well the cost of failure in combat. He passionately believes that civvy street has a lot to learn from the upfront way in which the armed forces tackles failure at all ranks. He takes us to see how officers learn these lessons in the field, and to meet his friend and former POW John Peters, who shares his very moving story of war-time failure.

Producer: Catherine Carr.

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

03Education2014030520170118 (BBC7)
20170119 (BBC7)

Head teacher Heather Hanbury on why her school teaches children to fail, and fail well.

When struggling to invent the electric light bulb, Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed; I've simply found ten thousand ways that won't work."

In this series, five people from very different spheres of life reflect on what failure has taught them personally and explain what value those lessons have in their worlds.

The head teacher of Wimbledon High School, Heather Hanbury, aims to equip her girls with the resilience provided by regular failing, as it will serve them well in the 'real world'. Her counter-cultural mission statement teaches pupils to be good both at failing and talking about failure. Conversely, she also encourages them to cast off embarrassment and to become adept at sharing their triumphs.

Producer: Catherine Carr

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

04Business2014030620170119 (BBC7)
20170120 (BBC7)

Entrepreneur Keith Cotterill on understanding the value of failed start-ups.

When struggling to invent the electric light bulb, Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed; I've simply found ten thousand ways that won't work."

In this series, five people from very different spheres of life reflect on what failure has taught them personally and explain what value those lessons have in their worlds.

Serial start-up expert Keith Cotterill can talk the talk - as well as walk the walk - when it comes to business failure. Having spent a thirty-year career building companies between the USA and the UK, Keith went on to research the way entrepreneurs across the globe deal with failure ventures. His findings show that the UK is on the right track, but must do more to exploit the economic potential of business failure.

Producer: Catherine Carr.

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

05 LASTSport2014030720170120 (BBC7)
20170121 (BBC7)

When struggling to invent the electric light bulb, Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed; I've simply found ten thousand ways that won't work."

In this series, five people from very different spheres of life reflect on what failure has taught them personally and explain what value those lessons have in their worlds.

As a teenager, Ed Smith told anyone who'd listen that he wanted to play cricket for England. He did - but only three times. In this programme, Ed meets the first ever professional sports psychologist, William Davies, and together they reflect on some key moments of sporting failure, and how the lessons learned on the sports field can transfer into real life.

Producer: Catherine Carr.

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

Cricketer Ed Smith on his failure to play more than three times for England.