A true test of any company is what happens when things go wrong. Does the leadership step up to fix a problem? Is it a bandaid fix? or is it something permanent, that involves going to the root cause of a problem.
The world’s most customer centric company, Amazon has a great methodology called “Correction of Error” or COE. As Scott Brinker outlines in his article on innovating like Amazon: It has been baked into their culture and requires all leaders to ask the following questions:
- What happened?
- What was the impact on customers and your business?
- What was the root cause?
- What data do you have to support this?
- What were the critical implications, especially security?
- What lessons did you learn?
- What corrective actions are you taking to prevent this from happening again?
This is a great way to ensure that Amazon continues to learn and minimizes the chance that the same problem will happen for multiple customers.
Now for a fun 60 second example from the movie “Meet the Parents” with Ben Stiller
While this is obviously a made-up example, I am sure many of us have had similar experiences of over zealous staff taking policies and procedures a little too seriously.
If you were the responsible manager, or a colleague, what would you do?