The Cancer of Complacency (con't)
A Pond Chock Full of "Frog Management"?
Before you say "Those smooth-brained critters deserve it!" consider some of the highest-stakes situations where human life is in the balance. Miles O’Brien, a pilot, airplane owner and freelance journalist blogging at http://www.milesobrien.com delivers a sobering corroboration:
The brilliant physicist and educator Richard Feynman, who served on the Rogers Commission (which investigated the Challenger accident), summed it up well.
He compared NASA’s decision to keep launching shuttles despite growing evidence of scorched, leaking Solid Rocket O-Rings as “a kind of Russian roulette… (the Shuttle) flies (with O-Ring erosion) and nothing happens.
Then it is suggested, therefore, that the risk is no longer so high for the next flights. We can lower our standards a little bit because we got away with it last time.”
Whether or not we like it or are even aware, we gradually and blithely accept greater risk without comprehending what we are really up against.
What You Don’t See
Like the frog who doesn’t notice the increase in temperature, are you complacent because you’re not feeling any hot water…yet? Are you rationalizing a slowdown in sales to what’s ‘out there’ – economy, tightwad customers, a new competitor?
Attracting and retaining customers is a 24/7 job for any profit-seeking organization. The same goes for improving your products and services.
My clients are terrified about the calls they are not getting, not necessarily about possible service complaints…they are trained to deal with those (and complaints are clues to improvement opportunities).
They can’t do a thing about calls they’re not getting and the people those callers will complain to in their circle; statistics suggest the complaining is FIVE times as likely as positive referrals.
This country needs small- to medium-sized businesses. Stay aware, be proactive and get after new clients and retaining existing clients.