Everything Decays. Here's How to Fix That.

One thing I've noticed is that Property and Facility Managers like having a solution that solves a particular problem forever. I've felt this way. In the rare instance you've found the solution you thought would solve the problem forever, you've probably also discovered it's not true. The problem has come back because the situation changes. The people change; the knowledge changes; the need changes.

The fact is, everything decays. Corrosion, degradation, entropy or deterioration: choose your word.  At your facility, every problem, every meeting and every relationship and all of your emergency planning is decaying, right now. Now matter how good an emergency plan is now, in six months, left to its own devices, it won't exist (the ultimate decay) or it will be a lot less effective. The process that you've been working so hard on, and finally got just right, in six months will either be overcome by events or will need significant rework. You may not have understood, up till now, why good processes that worked before begin not to work. The answer is, the situation, systems or people changed and the process didn't. Entropy. Everything decays. It's not just YOUR stuff that decays. EVERYBODY'S stuff decays. Always.

The solution to the decay of all things is to manage them. Assess the status of processes and change them regularly. Assess the effectiveness of your emergency training program periodically and adjust accordingly. Seek feedback from others involved, which may reveal knowledge gaps or boredom from repetitive training content or techniques.

Have I just created more work for you? In the long term: not really. The amount of work required to fix a broken process is much bigger than the little work required to maintain those things along the way. If you've ever tried to get a favour from an long term friend who you haven't kept in touch with, you'll know the regret of not keeping in touch, as there will be no energy in your relationship for them to help you with your problem. Losing touch with an ongoing training program such as your emergency management is no different.

The solution? Ctrl-Shift-K

Ctrl-Shift-K is the Outlook shortcut for a task. By using that, I suggest you check in with yourself once a month (or your chosen timeframe) and see how you are doing.

Here’s but two things to Ctrl-Shift-K

Stay Connected: Use Ctrl-Shift-K to create a recurring task to keep in contact with key people in your Emergency Control Organisation. Just reach out each time the task comes up. You don’t have to “be a networker” to have a great network. You have to “stay in touch [with people].

Meet Your Objectives: Generally, objectives are set at the beginning of the year and never looked at again, until it’s review time. That’s a guaranteed way to miss your objective. Put them in a task list and make the task pop-up once a month. When the task comes up, put time on your calendar to work on it over the next four weeks.

I’d love to hear more Ctrl-Shift-K ideas.