What Just Happened? (and the cost of 20/20 hindsight)

rupertmurdochRupert Murdoch must be asking himself that right now. What just happened?  How did I get here?  In particular, that day he was hauled in front of the British Parliament to answer for the phone hacking scandal.  In his statement he said, “We now know that things went badly wrong at the News of the World.  For a newspaper that held others to account, it failed when it came to itself.  I wish we had managed to see and fully solve these problems earlier.  We will come to understand the wrongs of the past, prevent them from happening again and in the years ahead”.

20/20 hindsight!

tonyhaywardSame with Tony Hayward, the ex CEO of BP. What just happened?  How did I get here?  In particular that day he was hauled in front of congress to answer for the 2010 BP oil spill.  He said, “The explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon and the resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico never should have happened. There are events that occurred on April 20 that were not foreseen by me or BP, but which we need to address in the future as lessons learned from this terrible tragedy. We and the entire industry will learn from this terrible event and emerge from it stronger, smarter and safer.”

20/20 hindsight!

mr. toyoda of toyota Same with Mr Toyoda, President of Toyota. What just happened?  How did I get here?  In particular that day he was hauled in front of congress to answer for the 2010 safety recalls and crisis of public confidence.  He said, “Quite frankly, I fear the pace at which we have grown may have been too quick. I would like to point out here that Toyota’s priority has traditionally been the following: first, safety; second, quality; and third, volume. These priorities became confused, and we were not able to stop, think and make improvements as much as we were able to before, and our basic stance to listen to customers’ voices to make better products has weakened somewhat. We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization, and we should sincerely be mindful of that. I regret that this has resulted in the safety issues described in the recalls we face today, and I am deeply sorry for any accidents that Toyota drivers have experienced.”

20/20 Hindsight!

I understand that we will always learn from hindsight, but it can be incredibly expensive, as illustrated by these tragic examples. We must strive to learn as much as possible from insight and foresight, as it’s much less expensive.  But that requires organizations to bridge the agility gap – see next week’s blog and find out more about organizational agility at www.mydrivingseat.com.

Category: Leadership

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About the Author: Mike Richardson

Mike Richardson is an agility pioneer, dedicated to cracking the code of organizational agility for ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things, making possible tomorrow what seems impossible today with Learn More

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