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Disabling the Alarms July 26, 2010

Posted by Jason in Daily PM.
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A Transocean engineer has testified that several warning systems and alarms were disabled on the sunken Deepwater Horizon drilling rig – potentially some of the links in the disastrous chain of events leading to BP’s environmental and public relations nightmare.

Happily, few of us will have the misfortune of such severe consequences, but there is still a lesson for anyone in business:

What warnings are you inhibiting that might otherwise give you notice that something is not quite right?  Are you surrounded by yes-men or others who are afraid of giving you bad news (or waking you up at 3 a.m.)?  Is your array of financial and competitive sensors tuned to the changes in your markets and your clients?  Or is there an explosive cloud hanging over your head just waiting for the right circumstances to blow up?

If you are fortunate enough to have the right metrics, don’t ignore their sometimes subtle warnings.

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