Life lesson from the Boston Marathon bombings

I’ve just read The Exclusive Inside Story of the Boston Bomb Squad’s Defining Day on Wired.

Bomb squad members are trained to use a careful, methodical approach and lots of high-tech gear to disarm explosive devices. But at the Boston Marathon, there were two blasts and they had to contend with the risk that more bombs had been placed to target first responders. And they had hundreds of left-behind bags to search.

Because they knew their objective, they were able to improvise their methods. Without their body armor, they bravely slit open the sides of bags with pocket knives to examine as many bags as possible as fast as possible.

If your employees know their objective (the “why”), they will be able to adapt to changing circumstances. If all they know is is the “what”, they will be stuck with a single response even if the situation changes dramatically.