Work to ensure that your problems are exceptions

by Jack Warren, Top Coach editor and host

Just this month, one of our local restaurant chains garnered some national publicity — of the unwanted kind. Seems one of the workers at the drive-through was “triggered” by the presence of a state police officer and let her know with a round of expletives what she though of police in general.

Even if you’re not familiar with this story, you can imagine that in the current time of social media, this story just exploded. And depending on how you view incidents of this nature, you probably have an opinion on whether the instant and widespread notoriety was justified or not. The fact is, this is just the way things like this catch fire these days.

In this specific situation, because I am very familiar with the details of the event, the restaurant, the franchise owners, the area, and more, I can tell you that this was indeed an extremely isolated incident. I would guess that most of the people who live in this area are willing to give the owners and managers a pass because of two things: 1) swift action was taken on the heels of the incident and 2) this incident is not analogous with anything else coming out of this organization in the last decade. Yes, it will leave a black eye, but I doubt that it will have long term impact.

This is a perfect chance to reflect on your own organization. When an incident occurs within your organization that garners unwanted and perhaps unfair publicity, how is it received in your community? If the primary reaction is some variation of “Here we go again!”, then you’ve got some serious reflecting to do. If, however, you’ve built up a bank of goodwill because of a solid reputation and a history of things done the right way, then you may have earned a well deserved pass and comments more along the line of, “I certainly didn’t expect that from them.”

Make no mistake — something untoward will occur within your organization at some point. Do your best to ensure that they are the exception and that you are prepared to appropriately respond.

Jack is available to speak to your team or organization or at your next function. He also provides individual and organizational coaching and consulting. You can get more information on these services at Jack’s professional services site,

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