Questionable decision making or good publicity

How often have you had to back down on decisions you’ve made or admit you were wrong? It’s a hard thing to admit because it always smacks of failure or inadequacy.

In the 1960s the late MP for Bristol South East and latterly Chesterfield Tony Benn famously changed his views on the nuclear industry, originally being a supporter and then becoming one of the labour government’s most ardent naysayers. I was always impressed with his reply to questions about his change in views – “I was wrong”. How many politicians and leaders would say that publically these days? How often does that happen in business?

There have been some extensive product recalls in the Japanese automotive industry recently due to ‘component failures’. Is that the reason? Or did someone decide to buy the wrong thing or ineffectively check the design of what was bought ? Was someone wrong?

There’s the ever-lasting banking crisis where having been told for years that banks are secure, successful, robust ‘no problems here’ businesses suddenly everything is falling around their ears, they’ve no money, people are making some very strange choices that result in huge fines ……..I call that decision making myself – REALLY bad decision making!

And now we have another very public volte-face. The Glasgow Organising Committee of the 2014 Commonwealth Games (hope I’ve got their name right) announced a few weeks ago that as part of the opening ceremony  footage of a live demolition of the Red Road flats would be included.

Now for me that felt somewhat counter-intuitive for a sporting event. Not the actual thought of demolition but all that dust in the air when athletes are trying to strive beyond excellence, win gold medals, get world records or just get involved….but what do I know, the closest I get to sport is from my armchair!

There was a huge hue-and-cry from the population of Glasgow about the demolition – which was a shame as it is recognised but most that the flats have been empty for years, some of the blocks have already been demolished and the rest WILL come down – it’s just a case of when.

So yesterday the powers arranging the opening ceremony have ‘decided’ (or maybe been persuaded) that including the demolition in the Games will not happen. A good decision in my mind. But something made me think this morning……hasn’t the Commonwealth Games had some excellent publicity over the past few weeks? Publicity is publicity after all, whether it’s good or bad. Maybe I’m just a conspiracy theorist.

But I say good luck to Glasgow. I’m sure they’re got other excellent ideas for the opening ceremony. They have some brilliant athletes planning to attend and I really hope we have some of the little heroes turn up as well to do their best for their countries even though they only took up the particular discipline a couple of weeks ago.

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