Volume 8 Number 3 - March 2,, 2010

If you know a company — customer, supplier, friend, or your own — that could benefit
from improved operations,
from improved operations, let us know.
Your best interest is our best interest.

The Finish Strong® monthly e-newsletter is for business leaders who recognize Operations as a strategic function that creates competitive advantage, profitability and brand loyalty to the marketplace.

At 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning I was awakened by the blare of tsunami alarms. My hotel in Waikiki was threatened by the tsunami initiated by the earthquake in Chile the evening prior. We quickly learned that the phone book includes "inundation area" maps for each beach section of Oahu. We also learned that we had 5 hours of additional prep time, the concept of "vertical evacuation," and that throngs gathering a week's worth of water and food in an overcrowded grocery store can be calm, polite and orderly.

As most of you now know, the tsunami turned out to be "much ado about nothing." But it is much better to be prepared for a nonevent, than unprepared for an event. Because of the effective planning and communication of the Honolulu safety forces, a larger tsunami would have easily caused damage in the millions, but would NOT have resulted in loss of life.

I wonder how hard those safety forces had to fight for funding to develop and test the plans put into place Saturday morning. After all, the chances of a tsunami are small.

Perhaps a quick look at your own disaster plans could be useful. Do your employees know what to do? Do you have access to employee, customer, and supplier contact information if your computer systems are unavailable? Sure, it's unlikely, but...

Speaking of potential disaster, how about no snow in Vancouver B.C. for the long planned Winter Olympics? They had a backup plan that seemed to work. The same message re: potential disasters in one week?


The Starting Pistol
Felix Frankfurter
“Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late.”

The Tape
Rebecca Morgan:
".....so 'we should have had a plan' means little; a good business manages risk."


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