Understanding and Communicating Failure in the Workplace


We all fail, several times each day, at home and at work. Most often our errors are without consequence, benign. However, what if we fail in a work environment when we are part of a team on a major project or in an industrial environment? Individual and team failure can then have major consequences.

Governments and industry conduct post-mortems, inquiries or investigate failure to ensure we do not repeat the same errors, learn to improve productivity, or prevent disasters. Writing the story of failure is a significant undertaking, a similar process as writing any major report, akin to writing a memorandum to Cabinet (MC) where we are faced with tackling a problem and determining a way forward.

This one-day course is based on the science and techniques used by professional investigators to uncover the causes and contributory factors leading to accidents and disasters. The examples used range from a slip or mishap at work to major industrial failures such as the 737 Max plane crashes and the Government of Canada implementation of the Phoenix pay system.



At the end of this course, participants will:
  • have acquired knowledge about the science behind individual failure
  • have acquired knowledge about how failure happens in a team and in an industrial environment
  • be able to develop a schematic of failure
  • be able to produce the most productive story of failure
  • be able to communicate their findings in a polarized environment.



  • This course is for any manager, policy advisor or team member wanting to learn how to uncover and communicate failure in the workplace.



6 hours



  • $655 (plus tax)


Featured Instructor

Marc-André Poisson is a part-time administrative judge (member) at the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada. He is the former Director of Marine Investigations at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and immediate past Chairman of the Marine Accident Investigators’ International Forum.

Marc-André has a wide range of public speaking experience, including national spokesperson when he co-led the implementation of Canada’s first anti-terrorism and anti-gang maritime patrols. He has been called upon to provide keynote addresses, speak at international conferences and has given live and recorded interviews to most major media outlets in Canada, and abroad.

He holds a master’s degree in marine policy from the University of Wales, Cardiff, and completed undergraduate studies in natural and social sciences in Canada and France. He has done doctoral studies where he started to craft the outline to his book Whodunit, motivating him to finish the essay and teach his findings in lieu of seeking another degree. He has many other publications to his credit, both fiction and non-fiction, and has received the Exemplary Service Medal, the Canadian Coast Guard’s highest award.



Event CodeTitleBegin DateEnd DateTermDelivery Method
P02152311AUnderstanding and Communicating Failure in the Workplace11/17/202311/17/2023AutumnIn PersonRegister
P02152401AUnderstanding and Communicating Failure in the Workplace1/29/20241/29/2024WinterIn PersonRegister