Why people and organisations fail

You may disagree with these sweeping  views, but have a read of this story doing the rounds this week and decide for yourself.

“Professor Fails whole class – find out why
An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said ok, we will have an experiment in this class about socialism.

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an ‘A’. After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a ‘B’. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

But, as the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too; so they studied little.. The second test average was a ‘D’! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around the average was an ‘F’.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame, name calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great; but when government takes all the reward away; no one will try or want to succeed.”

How is this different to the widespread apathy we experience as customers – general  non-performance by service providers and suppliers? I don’t believe it is.

I was ridiculously happy this week to walk into my local photocopy shop and see the whole place had had a good tidy up. It has always looked a real mess but as the service and pricing is good, I have overlooked all of that.

To see how neat everything looked gave me renewed hope that it IS possible to pay attention to the seemingly little things, even in a small business  under the typical daily pressures. When I commented, there were proud smiles all round.

Being endlessly curious about cause-effect, I will speak to the manager in due course and find out what led to  this sudden shift in performance (and therefore  image.) I will be even keener to monitor the maintenance of this renewed vigour, and as keen to identify causal factors (drivers) with that too.

I still believe that if we commit to excellence in every corner of our national “shop”, we can conquer world markets. It starts with a reason (incentive) to do it. And it ends ………who knows where?

I believe the possibilities are endless, with the right motivation……….with the right leadership.


About Cherri Holland

Fascinated with business, brains and how to use the brains on the payroll to make business buzz.
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