Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Honesty really is the best policy!

What is it exactly about bad communication that makes a situation/issue/challenge ten times worse?

We have all sat on a train station platform or airport when the LCD screens flash to tell you that your train/plane is delayed by 20 minutes. Doesn’t seem too bad, right? But following this, every 5 minutes, the delay seems to increase and before you know it you have been waiting for 90 minutes with only a mechanical voice “apologising for the inconvenience”. I don’t know about you but this reoccurring situation infuriates me. I can’t understand why people aren’t more upfront and honest about issues. I would much rather be given the most correct and up-to-date information at the time to be able to make my own decision as to how I will proceed. There is nothing worse than sitting on a train station platform and realising that you could have gone out to the pub for 40 minutes whilst you were waiting.

An interesting situation to assess right now is that of G4S, Olympic security provider, who have been plagued with problem after problem in recent days relating to the under-staffing of security posts for the impending Olympics. Currently there is a lot of scaremongering in the press about the lack of trained security personnel that were meant to be provided as part of the 10,000 person contract and 3,500 Army personnel, due to go on leave, have been brought in at the last minute. Anyone following this story will see that the obvious mistakes made plus the media furore and high profile “dress downs” have turned G4S and the security aspect of the Olympics into an absolute shambles.

3,500 soldiers are drafted in to plug the
security personnel gap at the Olympics. 
At this point in time, we can only allege as to where the communication break downs have happened. Boris Johnson seems to think that Government were aware of the staffing issues a few months ago, whereas Theresa May insists she only found out 9 days ago. It is interesting to note that many reporters have failed to alert readers to the fact that the initial G4S contract was based on the employment of only 2000 security personnel, not the 10,000 that it increased to in January of this year. So where exactly does the blame lie for this complete and utter breakdown in communication?

Over the coming weeks, as more information surfaces about the mistakes that have been made and the real situation behind the hype starts to appear, I would like to have a look at ways in which the situation could have been handled more effectively by G4S and Government. Please do feel free to add your own comments and thoughts.

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