Emphasise the importance of bad news

TaskmasterYesterday I wrote about the great Bernie Brookes speech I attended, where he talked about the importance of getting your organisation to recognise the unsung heroes of your business, such as the IT or supply chain departments.


Hopefully you’ve been down and high-fived those boffins in the last day or so, and now you are ready for your next task.


I wanted to pick up on another thing that Bernie said about the importance of responding to problems.


The line he used was very nice: “Bad news must travel faster than good news.”


Now, this doesn’t mean that it’s okay to take ages to praise someone. What it does mean is that you need to develop a culture where your team does not try and hide bad news, but instead reports it upwards through your management structure and then gets to work fixing the problem.


I always like to tell my staff that bad news isn’t necessarily a bad thing. All businesses encounter problems from time to time and being responsive to problems is the hallmark of a great company.


What I really hate – and what you should hate – is when I find out a bit of bad news myself, before the person responsible tells me.


My matra is: No surprises. Yours should be too.


Get it done – today!


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