Strategy is primarily the art of planning and channeling overall military operations and movements in a war or battle. So strategy is originally a military term. Before they embark on any battle, they must spend quality time in a strategy session to ascertain the right approach to the battle.

Anyone who truly wants to be successful must sit down and strategize. You must engage in critical analysis of the right steps to take to achieve your aim. Otherwise you will be wasting your precious time. The story below elucidates the format for strategy.

“At the end of his first staff meeting, the new commander of Kajak Tactical Airbase asked two of his officers to stay behind- his chief of operations and his chief safety inspector. “I know,” he said, “that Kajak has the best safety record in Tactical Air Command. But I am not satisfied. I aim to run a base on which there are zero accidents.”

“Sir,” said the chief of operations, “we try- but fighting airplanes are inherently dangerous.” “They should be dangerous to the enemy,” snapped the Commandant, “not to our men.” “We have three approaches,” said the chief safety inspector, “and we might intensify all three of them.

We study the equipment; of course, we have no control over design and manufacturing, but when we find something that might cause an accident, or find that something has caused one, we make sure that it is redesigned.

We train and we train and we train. And when there is any mishap, even one that doesn’t injure anyone, we have a thorough inquiry and, if necessary, change the method of operations or the equipment and, of course, recommend appropriate punishment if the mishap is the result of sloppy or careless operations.

We can intensify our work, I for one, have always asked for more training time, but I doubt that we’ll get a great deal out of more intensive effort. This is already the most safety-conscious base I know.”

The commandant was not impressed, however, and asked both men to come up with specific proposals. And he repeated his intention to run a base with zero accidents. After a week, the two officers reported.

“I’d suggest a permanent safety competition, said the chief of operations, “as one approach. Post on the bulletin boards the names of the units that have no accidents in a month; recognize their performance; reward them- a few extra passes often do wonders; and make it clear that recommendation or promotion goes to officers and non-commissioned officers who stand out in the safety competition.

At the same time,” continued the chief of operations, ” we might borrow from industry. I have few friends at General Motors who tell me that they run plants with zero accidents by relieving from responsibility, pending investigation, any supervisor who has even the slightest accident, even if there is no injury.

And they also relieve his boss until the inquiry is concluded. If the supervisor has a second accident within a twelve-month period, they remove him and demote his boss. The only excuse is equipment failure over which the supervisor had no control.”

“Not bad,” said the commandant, “although I’d have to go upstairs to get authority to remove or demote people. But perhaps there is some other way to accomplish the same end.”

“Sir, said the chief safety inspector, “I am impressed by my colleague’s ideas and think we might try them. But I have three order proposals. One, we might systematically encourage accident-anticipation reports.

We have a suggestion system that includes suggestions on safe operations- and it works well. But we might ask each commander and each supervisor to give us a monthly report on everything within his authority that might pose even the slightest potential safety hazard-whether equipment, operations, or the way we staff or train.

My second possible suggestion would be for regular monthly safety meetings in each area of the base devoted to the question, what can each of us do to make the work totally safe?

And my third suggestion, we might have one presentation at each of these meetings in which one commander or supervisor reports on what methods he has found effective in making his operations accident-proof.”~Peter Drucker.

As a business owner, banker, lawyer, architect, song writer, engineer, author, chief executive officer or parent that just read the above suggestions, which one do you think will be the appropriate strategy to have an accident-free base? Share your suggestions at the comment section below.

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