Permission to Bend and Break | HR Fishbowl

Take a few minutes to watch this video below. I don’t want to argue the merits of charging any citizen (let alone those putting their lives on the line for us) for extra bags – that’s for another blog (although, I think it’s the stupidest thing under our sun). But this might very well be the best video you could share with your employees when preparing them to be good critical thinkers. Whether you’re in the service, retail, manufacturing, high-technology [insert your favorite] industry…empowering your employees (and giving them permission) to think critically on the fly is maybe the single most important thing you can do to protect your brand, your customers, and your people. Dispense with your tired old learning and training courses that merely teach your employees what the rules are. Understanding process and protocol is one thing – being able to apply them given the circumstances in a way that supports the broader mission and vision of your organization is another entirely. Encourage them and teach them (yes teach them) to bend and to break those rules even if if means they’ll have to answer for it. Reward them for doing so – and tell every one in the organization about it. There’s a reason we haven’t moved quickly to deploy robots in place of our living and breathing employees: we (most of  us) are uniquely qualified to apply logic, emotion, and judgment to the matter at hand. Although after this debacle, Delta Airlines might very well want to think about more self-service kiosks at its check-in counters.

(Unfortunately Youtube disabled the embedding feature on this video, so you’ll have to click on the image and follow it to the original posted to the site)

Important Note: I am not suggesting you all go out and Boycott Delta…that is NOT the point of this post.  I don’t think the mistakes of few should penalize the many. But the call to boycott (which has now gone viral) reinforces the risks of not empowering your employees to bend and break the rules in the (better) interests of the company.

Image Credit: Randy Son of Robert

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