How Arrangements Get Blown

close the loopIt seemed like the simplest thing to coordinate, but something critical to the event’s success went wrong.

A key person didn’t show, there was a misunderstanding of intent or an important item was overlooked. Sound familiar?

The underlying cause is always the same: SOMEONE didn’t close the loop.

Even simple arrangements can go adrift, so if there’s real complexity involved you’re almost asking for trouble.

And, the solution is always the same: Discussions and preparations need to end with a timely, final and complete summary in everyone’s hands.

There’s many ways to close that loop; hit all key participants (and cc’s) in a GROUP with identical email, text, voicemail or other suitable shared applications.

In reality, there is also often last-minute coordination and changes. In many cases these can be critical adjustments required for success.

So, someone needs to OWN the coordination. One person must close the loop, get everyone in-sync.

close loop 2

If there is room for error, there often will be. It’s usually required a coordinator /arranger is designated, agreed and acknowledged, up-front or at least early-on. So, make sure to step up when it’s clearly your job, or help ensure someone is clearly designated and empowered.

Every participant and supporter of the event (meeting, gathering, conference, show etc., etc.) must know who is orchestrating and coordinating matters and to advise them clearly of important updates and critical changes.

It’s all seemingly obvious. But so often arrangements go wrong. Someone fails to pass along key information or changes.

One of the biggest liabilities is the failure of participants to recognize the significance of new information or plans. Coordinators can make calls/approaches for last minute issues to identify such liabilities.

When it comes down to it, groups and teams working together to pull-off important events are as strong as their weakest members. One sloppy player, rushed, not thinking things through can wreak havoc.

We’ve all seen examples of blown communications: People show up for meetings unaware of need to bring crucial information, food arrangements are misunderstood for catering and sometimes even critical attendees aren’t properly advised of their role in attendance.

Those persons failing to provide important updates can be rushed, disorganized or plain lazy. Be sure folks prone to such behaviors are prompted to revisit their contributions BEFORE that Loop is finally closed.

Hopefully, this causerie is familiar to you? Perhaps it serves to complete your thoughts or act as a reminder. But beware, for in many cases what we humans readily grasp intellectually is poorly represented in our behavior.

Have you ever shown up to a meeting where a key person wasn’t even invited? Been booked to the wrong room at the wrong time?

Worse still, ever witnessed something otherwise well-managed only to appear in disarray because of such blown arrangements? This damages reputations.

Perhaps you should review how you coordinate with others. There’s usually plenty of room to sharpen communications and better secure your important events.


Ian R. Mackintosh is the author of Empower Your Inner Manager Twitter@ianrmackintosh



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