Yes, the screed is a little late today, but I’ve got a note excusing me. It’s signed by Sandy. Once again (by my count, the fifth time since I started this blogging thing) I’m writing at the public library over their wi-fi since a massive storm has knocked out power to Connecticut and most of the surrounding area. I don’t expect it back for a few days (OK, I’m hoping it doesn’t take more than a week) but we’ll try to keep the wit and wisdom coming. Today, I’m going to plagiarise myself and repost the missive I wrote after hurricane Irene hit here a couple of years ago. The point made is still a good one – hopefully you all think so too. More fresh stuff tomorrow. I’m going to pick up some branches in the interim. Substitute Sandy for Irene in what follows and you’re up to date!
What a weekend! Whether you live on the East Coast or not, you probably spent a fair amount of time over the last few days hearing a lot about Hurricane Irene. She paid us a visit late Saturday and spent the night as so many house-guests will: wreaking havoc and generally making herself unwelcome. She left us Sunday afternoon but not before killing the power and internet access back at Rancho Deluxe. They’re still out as I’m writing this at my brother- and sister-in-law’s place in the next town over.
Like most folks, we had the time in the calm before the storm to take in the patio furniture, buy provisions, and generally batten down. But what should we be doing in the calm after the storm? That’s the business point today as well.
Every business endures potentially destructive events like Irene even if they’re not actual hurricanes. The loss of a big account, financial misbehavior by trusted employees – I’m sure you can cite dozens of example, hopefully none from experience. While careful preparation is always the best way to deal with incidents of that sort, I always found it was just as valuable to have a debrief after the storm. In the general sense of relief at the crisis being over, people still have a sharp focus on what tested them the most and how things could have gone better. Sure, you’d rather avoid the events altogether but a clear post-analysis is a critical element in creating the action plan for the next time. And trust me – there always is a next time.
We got off relatively lightly – a few branches down and no power for (hopefully) a day or so. We probably should have done a better job of eating stuff in the fridge and freezer the few days leading into the storm since it won’t all fit in the cooler we’ve got filled with ice – that’s the debrief. What are you taking away from the storms that have come your way?