Monday, June 20, 2011

A Few Bad Apples

We’ve all heard it before and most of us have seen it in action at one point or another, the inescapable impact of “a few bad apples” in the bunch.

That thought came to mind for me the other day when I awoke to news reports and newspaper articles that detailed the circumstances of what was reported as the overnight riots in downtown Vancouver just last week following the 7th game loss of our beloved Vancouver Canucks to the Boston Bruins for the coveted Stanley Cup.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I turned on the morning news, and they were showing the scene from the night before; store fronts being smashed, stores looted, police cars lit on fire, people fighting in the streets, with each other, and, with police.

I was saddened and disappointed to see these images and know that they would be broadcast all over the world - such is the impact of the media in the era that we now live in. 

It was particularly disappointing in light of all of the incredibly positive images and articles that had been generated just last year as a part of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler.  Before, during and after the Olympics story after story had been generated about what an amazing city we lived in, for so many reasons, not the least of which was the hospitality and demeanor of the residents of our beautiful city.

And now, instead, we will be remembered for the hooliganism of a few bad apples.

The mob mentality is a fascinating thing, on some levels.  It fascinates me on the level of how easily influenced some people can be by those “bad apples” where they might otherwise use their good sense to either head in the other direction, or, better yet, help to put a stop to the unacceptable actions of a few people who were obviously intent on causing trouble no matter what the outcome of the game had been.

From a hotel perspective, it also served to remind me of the importance of consistent and effective communications and the value of relationships in our business.  Without that foundation in place, a few “bad apples” can get a foot-hold and influence others with their own agenda, which is almost certain to be a negative agenda, meant to cause or further inflame disharmony in the workplace.

Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch in your workplace.

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