Saving The Day

Saving the Day

What is it about running in and saving the day like the old westerns that companies enjoy.  Why is it we value the Herculean effort to correct or fix the result of poor strategy, poor decision, insufficiently staffed, or poor execution? Could we agree that generally is better to get things correct the first time where possible?  It is not the idea of not taking risks (calculated) that I am referring.  These calculated experiments that are undertaking with the goal of learning and not the source of our failure of which I am referring.  Rather it is the poorly calculated or evaluating approach to the work, for example, cutting corners in the development work to save time or money or perhaps it is the poor project or product strategy, or too little time vetting either broke both.  Or maybe my favorite the understaffed endeavor.

Is it really a Gain

These events often take considerable effort from our staff to either carry the day from the start or some select people from the group to come in and save the day.  This effort, often through uncompensated overtime, takes employees away from their families and otherwise disrupts their lives.  Sometimes it may come with some reward such as verbal recognition, or some time off or a gift card.  What of those projects or plans that go through uneventful either through well thought out plans, sufficient staffing levels, well executed and adapting work, or perhaps just plain luck? These events often slip blindly by unnoticed.

  • What signal does this send to our employees?
  • What if anything does this do for the rest of the team?
  • For those that are the ones who frequently must pull the fat from the fire?
  • What about those projects they go off without problems where there is no need for a firefighter?
  • Do those employees feel valued when no fuss is made because decisions taken were good guesses or well calculated and effective?
  • How does this influence our organization’s culture?
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