Simon Black –
Although this might seem obvious, it is actually very easy to be distracted. Sometimes it is the distraction of personal ambition, the needs of stakeholders (including one’s managers), ‘interesting work’ and so on.
Here is a stark example of a lack of focus on purpose (conserving black-spotted turtles) leading to a mess up, exacerbated by (probably) panic and further blatant negligence (reported by witnesses). This did little for the turtles or the people charged with protecting them.
- Turtles were rescued from illegal smuggling (purposeful).
- They were taken to a release site, the Indus river (purposeful).
- The turtles stored in an office so that the release could be photographed the next day (a plausible approach to publicity, but not purposeful).
- The turtles died in the bags, or during handling (negligence).
- The bodies were discarded into the river (negligence).
All could have been avoided with either:
(i) a night-time release (if animals were healthy / disease free).
(ii) quarantine or pre-release in the pool facility which had been used on previous occasions
Both (i) and (ii) are purposeful – to conserve the turtles.
The opposite to negligence is diligence – leaders and team members must be diligent in their focus on the true and valuable purpose of work.
Read the article here:
SA Black, Groombridge, J.J. and Jones, C.G. (2013) Using better management thinking to improve conservation effectiveness. ISRN Biodiversity, Article ID 784701