Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Today is designated as Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada. In other countries it is known as Armistice Day. It was originally set aside to mark the end of the Great War (World War I) on the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. This was to be the last great war. The fact that there is now a I behind the name and there has been a WWII as well as many other major conflicts, says that we are not very effective in learning from our past mistakes.

That isn’t surprising since for most people there is no memory of the war, let alone the reason for the designation of the day. Only a few mark the event or the time. While some have a holiday on this day, they don’t use it in memory but rather as a vacation day. As time has passed, we give less and less attention to the memories. When I was a youth in Canada, school stopped for an hour and all the students gathered around the flag pole, where the flag flew at half mast, for a ceremony to honor those who had fought and those who had died for us. There were hymns, songs, readings and poems and it was meaningful. We wore “poppies” that were sold by the Veterans and the bright red made a sharp contrast to the earth tones of the clothes. Remembrance Day was a time for remembering!

Today, it appears that a few veterans get together and remember. Families of the fallen remember and the rest of us just pass by. We just won’t learn and so we are destined to repeat and we do.

You may very well ask what has this got to do with business? The answer is simple. If businesses don’t stop and reflect on what has happened, learn from it and reformulate their plans, they too will be destined to repeat the failures.

As turnaround experts, we see this far too frequently. Executives continue blindly on, doing the same activities over and over and expecting better results. Insanity, right?

Let me encourage all of you to stop today and reflect. Have a moment of silence for the fallen and those who have fought for you and your freedom.

Have another moment of silence for you. Reflect on your life. Reflect on your business. Reflect on what you could be doing differently to get more success. Reflect on the successes and what can bring you more successes.

To the fallen, thank you!


John Maver
Maver Management Group
(925) 648-7561
Maver Management

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