Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 16JAN12

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia disaster reminds us that, too often, we become cavalier about critically important things. Problems seldom materialize so we become complacent. “It won’t happen to us. This is just another routine flight or cruise or trip to the grocery store–it’s been done uneventfully thousands of times.”

After the cruise ship struck a reef this weekend, survivors report that there was utter chaos on the ship. News reports state:

  • The passengers had not been briefed on what to do–the passenger safety briefing was scheduled for the second day at sea.
  • The crew was ill-prepared to assist the passengers during this disaster and did not provide leadership at a time when it was needed most.
  • It was reported a crew member did not know how to operate the life boat once it was in the water; a passenger took control of the vessel to get it to land.

We see business execution failures that should have prevented an accident in the first place being compounded by delayed disaster drills in the event of a need to evacuate the ship. Failure in these preventative measures created breakdowns in the contingent action: ship evacuation after the incident.

Had the crew ever done more than a chalk talk about what to do? Had they ever done full dress rehearsal? It doesn’t appear so. And, the result is that even though there are few casualties and deaths, this lack of preparation undermined the experience for all concerned.

A couple of years ago, I was on a Southwest Airlines flight headed to Las Vegas. The people in the front of the plane ingored the safety briefing. The festivities had already begun for them. As the flight attendant concluded, she said, “For those of you seated in the front of the aircraft who chose to ignore the safety briefing, good luck!”

Luck is not a preventative or contingent measure. Luck may occasionally work well in gambling, but, it won’t consistently help you thrive. And, it certainly won’t improve business execution.

Thought for the week:

“If you want to do something big in your life, you must remember that shyness is only in the mind,” she said. “If you think shy, you act shy. If you think confident, you act confident. Therefore never let shyness conquer your mind.” – Arfa Karim Randhawa, the Pakistani computer programming prodigy who became the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional at 9 years old. She passed away at the age of 16 this week.


What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!


Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting


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