The phone system at the local high school was recently hit by lighting.  This caused a wholesale outage — outage as in RIP; the entire phone system was permanently dead.

The school board had already signed a contract with a new provider to upgrade the phones in the whole district, but implementation was planned to begin in one of the smaller schools.  The high school wasn’t on the docket for awhile.

All that changed when the system failed.  Instead of investing in a repair, the district changed its plans and the high school was the first to receive the upgrade.  This took some heroics by the vendor and the technology staff to begin installation with the largest building and to do so over a weekend, but they pulled it off.

Does your organization display similar nimbleness?  Is your culture such that you can modify plans when the situation warrants, or are you beholden to the original schedule?  Is your leadership such that decisions can be made quickly enough to reap the advantages of being flexible?

It certainly would have been easier, and understood, for all involved to proceed with repairs instead of new installation.  And it would have been thousands of dollars more expensive to do in the long run.

The next time you need to call an audible, keep the school district in mind as a model.

— beth triplett

Thanks to Mike for the observation.

1 comment

  1. Great blog today beth! I am working through some situations right now with someone who doesn't quite have this flexibility so this was a great analogy to read. Thanks for sharing!

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