The Book

This is a book that tells one story in two ways. It is about the successes we often hear talked about, and the failures we often don’t. It’s about the big system issues of governance and strategy, and the smaller, everyday failures that happen no matter how hard we work. It’s a well-known and simple story, but one which is rarely told.


Set in a ‘cultural desert’ near you, this book juxtaposes the claims we make publicly and the things we may think privately. As you read this book, either individually, or within your team, consider what story you find yourself telling most often. To whom, and why? Decide who the cast of animals in this book may represent within your work. What might your project look like from those different perspectives?


Like all the FailSpace tools, this is an exercise which can be used at any point within a project or policy-making process. Exploring success and failure, and the stories you tell about your project at the beginning can be as useful as reflecting upon these questions after the end.


We recommend ordering a free copy of the book in advance of your workshop, as it is useful to refer to as you discuss the ways in which these two stories relate to your own work. A digital version is also available here.