"This guy pushed his motorcycle from the patio into his living room, where he began to clean the engine with some rags and a bowl of gasoline, all in the comfort of his own home. When he finished, he sat on the motorcycle and decided to give his bike a quick start and make sure everything was still OK. Unfortunately, the bike started in gear, and crashed through the glass patio door with him still clinging to the handlebars.
His wife had been working in the kitchen. She came running at the fearful sound, and found him crumpled on the patio, badly cut from the shards of broken glass. She called 911, and the paramedics carried the unfortunate man to the Emergency Room.
Later that afternoon, after many stitches had pulled her husband back together, the wife brought him home and put him to bed. She cleaned up the mess in the living room, and dumped the bowl of gasoline in the toilet.
Shortly thereafter, her husband woke up, lit a cigarette, and went into the bathroom for a much-needed relief break. He sat down and tossed the cigarette into the toilet, which promptly exploded because the wife had not flushed the gasoline away. The explosion blew the man through the bathroom door.
The wife heard a loud explosion and the terrible sound of her husband's screams. She ran into the hall and found her husband lying on the floor with his trousers blown away and burns on his buttocks.
The wife again ran to the phone and called for an ambulance.
The same two paramedics were dispatched to the scene. They loaded the husband on the stretcher and began carrying him to the street. One of them asked the wife how the injury had occurred. When she told them, they began laughing so hard that they dropped the stretcher, and broke the guy's collarbone."
The Darwin Awards 1998
This apocryphal tale may provoke a smile or even cause the odd chortle. No one believes such foolishness or such a chain of events could ever happen and yet I would ask you to pause and consider some Change initiatives that you have encountered. Have they not sometimes been flawed with some of this kind of stupidity? Let's see if we can't learn a lesson or two from this poor unfortunate's pain.
What did they do wrong ? (Though perhaps you might feel asking what they did right might be a quicker question!)
We can also see the cost of taking your eye off the ball. The Law of Unforeseen consequences has full rain.
I think you may agree this now looks a little more like some situations that you have observed.
So Ladies & Gentlemen, as you sip your early morning coffee and contemplate the week ahead, please don't repeat any of these unfortunate errors and your teams will thank you for your attention, care and planning!
Richard can only be described as world class... - Operations Director Asia/Pacific, Diageo
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Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change. Education is essential to change, for education creates both new wants and the ability to satisfy them. - Henry Steele Commager