The Bank Heist

What has an audacious bank robbery got to do with how organisations fail? 
The plan is meticulous in its attention to detail. The team have been selected for their knowledge , experience and skills in their specialist areas. They have been through an extensive induction and team building exercise followed by a detail briefing. The plan anticipates the challenges and obstacles they will encounter and identifies how these will be overcome. The necessary equipment to carry out the agreed tasks has been provided . Real time information is available by hacking into the police computer and listening devices in the police command centre. It’s an innovative and brilliant plan. But as so often is the case it fails because of the human element, people in stressful situations make mistakes, fall out with each other, deviate from the plan,  take unnecessary risks or unsure of what to do fail to act. Rivalries surface, personal agendas conflict with getting the job done.

The Bank Heist doesn’t run into problems because of weaknesses in the plan, a lack of up to date information, inadequate resources or poor leadership. In organisations ambitious plans succeed or fail because of the employees tasked to deliver or more accurately because of their managers people management skills. In this case the leader is in contact with the gang only by telephone and then only speaking through his deputy.   Whilst this is a simple and effective way of communicating and allows the leader to retain a detached distance and a wider perspective it puts a lot of onus on the deputy’s people skills and this is where things start to go wrong. 

The parallels with large organisations are clear. Once leaders are not able to communicate directly with employees, are over reliant on an inner circle  for feedback and unable to verify not just the facts but the mood for themselves they can not be sure that they know what’s happening or how best to respond.

Security level: Public

More Blog Entries

The names Bond ,James Bond 

 007 returns, shaken not stirred, updated but still the cool under pressure, man of action...

How can I help? 

He is a very caring human being, with a good set of professional values . He is a...