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Hurricane Gustav: A Lesson in Process Improvement

As with many, I decided that I wanted to stay abreast of everything that was going on with Hurricane Gustav, the massive Hurricane that hit the gulf coast yesterday, 8/1/08. My heart truly went out and goes out to the people in LA that have been displaced by the hurricane. Thankfully, many if not most people will be able to return to their homes and businesses with minimal cleanup.

What impressed me the most, however, was the movement of 2 million people out of harms way in what seemed to be an orderly manner. Now, this wasn’t just a local parish event, or even a city event; this was a coordinated event involving city, state and federal agencies. When contrasting this to Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, even a casual viewer would notice the huge differences. The process has improved.

This process improvement, however, was no accident. Coordination between the different entities didn’t just happen. Ensuring that the travelers had some place to stay when they reached whatever destination was not some casual happenstance. It was all planned and review and reviewed. Models were created, processes were developed, other scenarios were integrated into the modeling and contingencies were created. This was a carefully orchestrated operation that could probably be adjusted and dropped anywhere in the country.

In your business, creating processes and improving on those processes is key to your ongoing growth and success. While hurricanes are events that you cannot predict, precisely, there are always indicators that suggest that a particular event is approaching. The most important thing you can do, as a business owner, is have some understanding of what could happen, and have some process for dealing with this.

We all have our hurricanes of life and in business. Your reaction could be like that of Hurricane Katrina or like that of Hurricane Gustav; it’s up to you. Yes, there are people who say, “I don’t need any process,” as there were people that said, “I don’t need to leave for a hurricane.” In both cases, there are those who lived through their Katrina’s to tell about it, but there are many more who embrace greater satisfaction and less scarring because they developed their processes ahead of time.

At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].

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