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Operational Failure Reduces Resilience

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Everyone has experienced operational and personal failure at some stage of their lives. We need to admit it and learn from it.


Unfortunately we rarely do!


We must always ask ourselves the question as to whether failure was avoidable in a certain situation.


Did someone make a decision or take an action that on reflection was a critical mistake?


Were there poor choices or misguided actions of a person or group?


Did group think play a role in the road to failure which lead to a number of miscalculations and disaster?


In essence there are 4 main routes to failure which encompass:


  1. Poor Planning

  2. Failure of leadership

  3. IneffectiveExecution of plans

  4. No adaptation to changed circumstances


Let's consider each of these in turn:


1.Planning - Poor strategic planning and unclear goals are very important here. The gains of any plan should outweigh the resources put into that plan!


What are we trying to do?


Hazy goals and Poor objectives with a lack of contingencies in case of failure are crucial here.


Failure to gather information and intelligence is critical here. Management ignoring facts that don't fit in with their stated ideology. Group think is important here.

A failure to take account of the wider environment with little environmental scanning being enacted.


2 Leadership Failure


Incompetent people with poor skills, knowledge and experience are often left in charge. People can get to the top with good chat but little ability.


There is a need for leaders to know their limitations and to be able to act properly in unfamiliar circumstances.


Overconfidence and underestimating the level of problems is common.


Boldness cannot be rashness.


3 PoorPlan Execution


Dividing up goals and objectives unnecessarily with an unclear chain of command and control.


Rivalry of command and poor communication of ideas and objectives leads to failure.


There is a need to be brave enough to call off a scheme if it is failing!


Never reinforce failure!


Know when to stop and be brave enough to do so.


4. Adapt


Don't utilise out of date old strategies. Stress test and practice new up to date strategies.


Adjust plans to take account of the current and future environment your organisation faces.


All these 4 elements lead to failure.


But do we learn from failure looking back we can choose the best strategies which have worked in the past and reject those that haven't?


We need to examine those that will work in the future?


We need to try and avoid failure to increase our resilience.


Even if we fail we need to learn from failure and not repeat it.


We also need to admit failure and that is always a challenge for all of us.

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