When people do right - does the right thing happen?

Organizations are all about ‘success.’ Being ‘successful.’ Which can mean many different things to many different people. ‘Success’ is not simply the ‘antithesis of failure.’ One could argue that ‘mediocrity’ in many cases is practically accepted as the antithesis of ‘failure.’ ‘Mediocrity’ is hardly the same as ‘success.’

Organizational success means that a lot of different people need to be doing lots of very different, but very important things. And this often includes things that can go unnoticed. The ‘one percenters.’ Getting things done right the first time.

Organizational success is often based on what happens when people ‘do right.’ But time and time again, we come across systems and cultures which essentially encourage people to ‘do wrong’ – even though every poster and brochure screams the opposite.

People do what I pay them to do!

We all know that ‘boss’ or ‘program director’ who rely on a premise that because they hire ‘smart’ people and pay them ‘good’ money … they will do the ‘right’ thing. This is often the case when it comes to things like (un)reliability. Something that is easy to avoid during design and manufacture, but something that is impossible to recover from when it comes to being profitable (or whatever definitions of success you run with).

Putting the onus on everyone else has never worked. It simply means that the ‘boss’ or ‘program director’ has simply found a way to not personally worry about making really important (but hidable) things like reliability happen. It becomes everyone else’s responsibility. Not theirs. And this attitude will permeate through every meeting, email, watercooler conversation et cetera.

Leaders have a ‘value bank account’

We often talk about things like ‘emotional bank accounts’ because they are useful an