Lessons from History: Accuracy, reliability and communication!

Jun 23, 2015 | Uncategorized

We have just passed the summer solstice, with sunset well after 9pm and the sky still showing the last vestiges of sunlight long after 10pm. Great to sit and enjoy the outdoors and relax, eat chocolate and read a book.

This last weekend also celebrated Father’s Day in the UK. Somehow it has never gathered the same traction as Mother’s Day and for many fathers was probably a damp squib. At least I got a large bar of fruit and nut which was most acceptable.

I also finally received a book held over from last year: “The Tank War” by Mark Urban. Yes the title says it all but it’s proving a fascinating read. It follows the activities of one regiment, the 5th Royal Tank Regiment from 1940 through to 1945.

Accuracy and Reliability

As I started to read through the book, I was surprised to see that Dunkirk was not quite the end of the evacuation. Yes the original BEF, as it was called, was trapped and evacuated from Dunkirk but members of the 5th Royal Tank Regiment had been stationed in other parts of France and two weeks after Dunkirk were being evacuated from Brest, St Malo and Cherbourg, along with other troops.

They had learned a very harsh lesson. Despite Britain inventing the tank as a weapon of warfare, development had been held back, allowing other countries, notably Germany and America, to improve and develop their own versions at a faster rate.

As these tank crews retreated to the Channel ports the reliability of the machines had been tested to the limit.

A major at the time is quoted as saying, “We still pursued our love affair with craftsmanship which may be defined as ‘the ability to fit two things together which do not fit’. Accuracy was invariably the enemy of craftsmanship.”

The point he was making was that something built well will run well. The 5th Royal Tank Regiment had suffered from lots of breakdowns.

Are our business processes accurate and reliable?

Sharing the Message

The 5th Royal Tank Regiment had a reputation for not conforming to the usual rules. One of their commanders in particular had realised how important communication was amongst the tanks and support crews. He encouraged everyone to be on what was called the regimental net, radio communication for all rather than just the immediate tanks in a squadron.

This idea of open communication was further enhanced by the arrival of a new commander in August 1942, Bernard Montgomery, who strongly believed that making it clear exactly what was expected of his troops would help turn the tide of battle in North Africa.

He instigated regular sessions to pass on plans and objectives down through the ranks so everybody knew what was expected of them.

The best companies make good communication a priority. Do any of our team members remain unsure of their role and the part they play in our business process?

Review Time

The next Accelerator Club workshop will be on the 15th July at 8.00am

This will be a review session and an opportunity to look back over the last six months to see what has worked and what still needs to work.

Are our business processes more accurate and reliable, are we getting out the right message to both team and customers?

So whether it’s to do with goals, social media, the numbers, employing new staff or business efficiency, this session will be useful to all small growing businesses. Come and give some feedback and share your experiences.

Book using our events page, via email or through Eventbrite.

The Grugeon Reynolds Team