Workshop: Awesome Postmortems


9:00am - 5:00pm


Fri, 17 Jun



Failure is inevitable. Success is unpredictable. Failure and success together are also tremendous learning opportunities. A postmortem, conducted in an skillful way, is one of the best ways to learn from what happened. This deep learning is required to identify and address areas of fragility within systems and organizations, making both more resilient.

In this highly-rated and practical workshop--co-lead by the author of “Beyond Blame: Learning From Failure and Success” (Dave Zwieback) and organizational development expert (Yulia Sheynkman)--you’ll learn the counterintuitive research behind deeper, more impactful learning. Most important, you will practice conducting awesome postmortems, including:

  • facilitating charged conversations after high-stakes outages
  • debriefing techniques to maximize retrospective learning
  • going beyond the two most powerful impediments to learning (blame and biases)
  • finding the real root cause of any failure or success (yes, there is such a thing!)
  • acting in accordance to the complexity of the system
  • effectively sharing the learning (internally and externally)
  • harnessing prospective hindsight to identify risks and reduce the possibility of future failures, and maximize potential for success
  • getting executive support and building a community of practitioners within your organization

Workshop Outline


  • Opening
  • Problem-solving exercise
  • Debrief
  • Break
  • The Learning Review Framework


  • Cognitive Biases
  • Advanced Listening
  • The Case (Applying the Framework)
  • Break
  • Premortem
  • Wrap-up

Speaker: Dave Zwieback

Head of Engineering Pandora’s @NextBigSound & Partner at Mindweather LLC

Dave Zwieback has been working with complex, mission-critical I.T. services and teams for two decades. He is Head of Engineering at Pandora’s Next Big Sound team, and Partner at Mindweather LLC. His career spans small high-tech startups, non-profits, and behemoth engineering, financial services, and pharmaceutical firms. Dave is the author of “Beyond Blame: Learning From Failure and Success” ( To learn more about Dave, visit or follow @mindweather.

Find Dave Zwieback at


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