We don’t need another Hero

by | May 13, 2014

This post starts of as a bit of a rant.   For far too long, we (me included) have been guilty of playing the “Hero” role when a crisis occurs.

I get a rush when a crisis happens or a last minute request come our way and we are asked to solve it in limited time.  The pressure is on and we always find a way even if it takes Herculean efforts to get a solution. We then announce to everyone about what a great job we did averting a crisis.  Honestly, it feels really good to be the Hero!  Right? So why bother changing if we get adrenaline rushes with every panic request?  Why bother planning when we can all run around in a frenzy when something comes up?

The problem with this approach is that we end up throwing away all the good work we did to establish policies, procedures and best practices in favour of an ad hoc, one off solution.  In  a “crisis”, we don’t have time and all our practices get thrown out the window in order to solve the problem as quick as possible.  Forget that this might be a recurring issue, let’s solve this one instance now and get praise and thanks sent our way!  The next time we have this problem, we won’t remember what we did to solve it last time and guess what … We get to be the Hero again!!

We need to put an end to the “Hero” syndrome in our organizations. As leaders in our organization, let’s have the courage to champion the message that planning and implementing a standard process will always deliver a higher quality, consistent result to the people we serve.  Making this change becomes even more challenging when you need cooperation and coordination across the various silos in your organization.

This is more a human behaviour change management issue than anything else.

Developing strategies and approaches to change this culture is key to moving our organizations to a Service Management model.  It all starts with taking the time to plan, analyze and implement processes.  Not easy but the end results are far more effective than ad hoc solutions created in a time of crisis.

We don’t need another Hero!

I couldn’t resist, listen here.

3 thoughts on “We don’t need another Hero

  1. Moiz

    I believe that Matryoshka-doll-type contingency planning is probably the most efficient (though probably also the most difficult) way of crisis avoidance.

    Of course, you’d need someone to constantly champion this. In fact, if I were running a business, I’d probably have someone filling the role of a DR officer/coordinator and performing quarterly DR audits (the ISM would probably also be performing the same frequency of security audits) so that we’re not blindsided and running around headless when Murphy’s Law rears its ugly head.

    Inefficient? Probably. Paranoid? Definitely.

    But I’m pretty sure it’d work!

  2. Mike Shore

    Excellent perspective. We shouldn’t have to rely on heroes.

    1. Leo de Sousa Post author

      Thanks Mike. The real challenge continues to be the human factor. Planning is boring compared to firefighting. We just need to keep on introducing planning whenever we can.


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