By Steve Moran

You have to read this story!

On Thursday, June 17, HBOMax made a mistake. Actually not all that big of a mistake in the scope of things. Someone sent out an empty test message to a group of their subscribers, probably millions. They said oops with this tweet:

The responses to the tweet are classic, wonderful, and heartwarming. Though who knows if it was an intern who did it or someone else. The big mystery is this: should HBOMax have blamed the intern?

Some of the responses:

Here is the link to the original tweet and responses.

The Great Leadership Paradox

The great leadership paradox is this. Leaders hate it when things go wrong and they hate it most of all when they are at fault.

And yet . . .

When leaders (strong leaders) admit their faults, they are better liked and have more loyal team members, and higher-performing organizations.

No-Fault Work Organizations

It is of course impossible to have a 100% no-fault organization. For at least three reasons:

  1. There are some mistakes where there is no coming back. In senior living, it could be putting a resident or team member in real harm’s way or, even worse, causing harm.
  2. There are some people who just don’t care enough to strive for excellence, they make too many mistakes and often the same mistakes over and over again.
  3. You made the wrong hire, which may or may not be your fault. Sometimes you do your best and it turns out wrong.

And yet, things go wrong. We know it well here at Senior Living Foresight. We have had a lot of growth over the last few months, which has meant hiring more people. It also means it takes a lot more time, energy, and thought to set people up for success.  

We have not done that perfectly which has resulted in some embarrassing mistakes that were made by others, meaning they pushed the button. But at the end of the day, those mistakes land squarely on my shoulders, because I did not do a good enough job in setting up systems to keep them from happening.

What we did was get together as a team and ask two things:

  1. What did we do wrong that allowed this to happen? — no blame just figuring it out.
  2. How do we make it so this kind of mistake doesn’t happen again?

In each case, blame would not have helped, in fact, it would have made it much worse. We figured out better ways of communicating. And lastly, we did not make some new rule or create some big new policy.

Publishing content is very complicated and dynamic. We need to move fast and react to what is happening in the industry and this means mistakes will always happen. We correct and go on.

It Does Not Mean . . .

It does not mean:

  1. We will never need new or different policies
  2. We will never create a new rule 
  3. We will never fire someone. 

Those things are the reality of business and of life. They are sometimes needed to achieve excellence, but they should be the 2nd or 3rd choice, not the first choice.