Saturday 21 June 2014

When things go wrong

It didn't take long for the jokes to start about England's performance at the World Cup after Thursday's game. It also didn't take long for the fingers to be pointed, accusations to be made and denials and protestations to be voiced. Whilst I appreciate the media and their self interest will be stoking the flames of such reactions I did wonder how much this behaviour reflected what we see in business or politics. 
For example:
  • Something goes wrong at work and what's the first thing that often happens? Yep - needing to find someone to blame, the instinctive defensiveness from all concerned, lack of learning and open communication. Resulting in a future full of trepidation and holding back for fear of this reaction again.
  • Or something goes wrong at the passport office - yep let's see who's to blame, ridicule them, threaten them with sacking, shout, scream and as every day passes focus on the continued failure, and ignore the small and incremental successes being made.
By way of a change I'd therefore like to offer the England football team the following: 
  • Thank you for accepting the role on the team.
  • Thank you for accepting being in the media's glare and scrutiny.
  • Thank you for all the hours of practice.
  • Thank you for trying your best.
  • Thank you for being there when we needed you.
  • Sorry it didn't turn out as we, and I know you, wanted it to.
  • There isn't one specific reason we failed - it will be a combination of factors to which we ALL contributed.
  • We'll be there supporting you for the final game.
  • Yes the game does count because its the next step forward.
  • Now we've learnt how not to do it let's take the learning and move forward to even greater success in the future - together.
  • Thank you. 
I wonder how business and politics would benefit from more appreciation that people do the best they can at any point in time, less finger pointing and blame, and more focus on learning and doing it better together in the future. 
Just a thought.
Alison Smith
Purchasing Coach inspiring change in procurement through communication, collaboration and appreciation every day. 

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