One of management’s most important responsibilities is ensuring that even if a key manager is absent, the show can go on. In a tiny company like iConsumer, that’s a real challenge. Every thing that each employee does is important, and there are hopefully no spare cycles being wasted.
The best way I’ve ever heard for testing readiness went something like this: On a random Monday morning, a team would arrive at the manager’s home. He (this was a long time ago, I bet it was all “he’s”) would be made to pack a suitcase for a week’s worth of travel. He wouldn’t be allowed phone calls to work. They’d put him on a plane to someplace nice. One week later he’d return, having had zero communication with his staff.
If his department was working well, great, he’d had a nice vacation. If not, he’d be fired.
Arguably, I’m a key part of the team. It’s important that iConsumer operates well in my absence, because someday I’d like to take a really sweet vacation. Or maybe somebody would like to buy iConsumer for an enormous amount of money, and not keep me around (I make a terrible employee). We had a chance this month to test what would happen if I were truly uncontactable. Fast-forward … we (actually they, the rest of the team) did great.
I take pretty darn good care of my health. It’s easy to do because I’m pretty darn healthy. Last fall, as part of a routine exam and some follow on testing, it was determined that I had a probably non-cancerous pancreatic cyst that should be removed. Removing it now, while I’m fit, is way smarter than removing it later when I’m truly old and decrepit (and the cyst has had time to become possibly cancerous).
Turns out that upon removing and analyzing the cyst (8 hours of surgery, goodbye gallbladder, half of the pancreas, and small portions of my stomach and intestine), we were wrong. The cyst had the characteristics that mean it was more likely (still not likely) to become cancerous. Nothing like hearing your surgeon, who had been on the fence as to the relative risks say “We made the right choice”.
Which is a long winded way of saying that iConsumer’s continuity is in good hands, and the likelihood of my being there to help is higher, too. Just a couple fewer blog posts, and many think that to be a good thing.