You can find lessons that help you in your day to day work every day if you keep your mind open. Here’s an example of learning from both good and bad happenings.
I was staying at a training venue with clients overnight. We were getting ready for a new product launch, and it was our first event – so everyone was a bit tense, of course. What you need in those circumstances is for everything to be smooth and perfect, naturally.
On arrival (great looking place, and easy to find), reception were having trouble with a New Yorker who was taking no prisoners. He was shouting at the receptionist “Why can’t I have my print out now” and more, and more. She used the broken record technique of calmly repeating why she couldn’t, and how it would not be correct until the system had caught up with itself. She did print something for him, but then told him he still needed to pick the full piece up later. Calm, self assured, assertiveness personified I had checked in at the same time and was following said gentleman to the rooms. He let the first door we came to smash back into me. I said nothing (being British!) but just held back. Clearly, reception had handled him so well he was still steaming angry!
Later, in the restaurant we complained that it was cold. “Heating is broken in here” was the explanation. They had brought in two tiny fan heaters. One didn’t seem to be having much effect – so I checked out its settings – and found they had positioned it backwards, so that it was heating the wall behind it very well indeed!
OK – we laughed, but it does start to make you wonder about the whole place. Are the staff paid well enough? Are there enough of them? Are they well led? Are they trained well – or at all? What will our food be like if they can’t sort out simple things?
That’s the problem with problems. We all have to sort them every day in our own organisations And if we sort them well, everyone will notice, and think we are a good organisation to be involved with. And the converse is absolutely true too.