A business crisis occurs and everyone wants to spring into action. They want meetings held, people called, emails sent, and the problem fixed immediately. You may want to do all of that eventually but there is a period of time, whatever you can afford, in which you just want people to stop and think. There are two moments in everyone’s life where their ability to think is severely hampered, during their first kiss and when they have their first business crisis. In either case, people should take a moment and really consider their next move carefully.
Let me give you an example. I just received an email from a software vendor. They are a competitor of the software company we use to manage all our data. We, like their clients, have tens of thousands of records in our database and the database is used by many employees every day. This competitor had installed an update and accidentally deleted a lot of their client’s data. They sent three emails. The first two went to their clients. The third went to me. I could see the three email string describing the problem differently in each subsequent email.
[bctt tweet=”There are 2 moments in everyone’s life where their ability to think is severely hampered, their first kiss & when they have their first business crisis @SCCE” via=”no”]
The first mistake they made was trying to explain to their clients the problem they had caused, before they fully understood the problem. The second mistake they made is that they sent the third email to the wrong list. I am not, and never have been, a client of this company; but I am probably on their marketing list. Someone was in such a hurry to fix a crisis they caused a bigger problem by announcing to their potential clients that they lost their current clients’ data.
Had I been their CEO, instead of getting mad and trying to find someone to blame, I would have told everyone, “Stop, calm down and have someone check all your work/decisions. This stuff happens and we need to fix it, but we are all a little stressed right now and we need to proceed as quickly as we must… but as slowly as we can.” People often create the false notion that all out speed is necessary. In compliance this happens regularly. A problem occurs and many people, including those above you, need to be asked to slow down. It’s one thing to make a mistake, it’s inevitable. What really frustrates me is people who rush to fix one problem and create another.