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The show must go on! ...But if it can't, just be prepared.

by Laura Casasanto

March 11, 2011

It’s the final day of HR, Financials, GRC 2011 and I think the biggest lesson I learned this week boils down to a simple motto and something boy scouts and The Lion King’s Scar have know for years: Be prepared.

HR sessions instructed us to be prepared to retain top talent, because in today’s social, lively work cultures if employees aren’t pleased with the social aspects of their job they will leave for a Google or an IBM of the world that will give them what they need. GRC sessions taught us to be prepared for risks BEFORE they become an issue at our organizations instead of constantly trying to put out fires as they pop up. And Financials sessions detailed many regulations that are in place or coming soon for which organizations need to make extensive preparations, else they’ll be slapped with exorbitant penalties and fines.

Then the universe, in its attempts to make sure I REALLY got the message, drove the point home last night when a colleague and I went to see the Cirque du Solie show Ka. An hour into the show, the mountain tribe's tent/flying machine got stuck while gliding over the audience with around 5 people inside. The issue was serious – the group couldn’t fix whatever was stuck and the rest of the show was canceled. The really im pressive part, however, was how the Cirque du Solie crew dealt with the situation. It took close to five minutes for the audience to realize the element was stuck because not only did the performers in the flying machine keep flapping the wings, but the orchestra and singer kept the music going for the 10 or so minutes the machine was attempting to get unstuck.

Once the call was made back stage that the show wasn’t able to go on, staff members filled the isles in the darkness and prepared to usher everyone out as soon as the lights went up, which happened just after they were all in place. Even ticket refund exchange information dissemination preparation was impressive – they already had printed sheets detailing how credit, cash, room charge, and complimentary ticket refunds and exchanges would work to hand out to each audience member on the way out instead of scrambling to answer to same question from hundreds of people over and over again.

It was a shame we didn’t get to see the rest of the show, but these things happen. At least if this had to happen, the staff was prepared to make the situation as pleasant as possible to keep their customers happy.

It’s an age-old saying but it so applicable in business today: Above all else, just be prepared for whatever may, and in most cases is, thrown at you.

-Laura, Project Expert

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