January 11 2021
By: Terry L. Mathis
Shortly after publication of his book, The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge did an exercise for a C-suite group of a Fortune 50 company that he labeled Lover's Beer. In this exercise, the executives role-played a beer delivery man, a convenience store operator, the production manager of the beer company, and the sales manager of the beer company. All communication went up and down the chain of contact, and supply and demand never stabilized. The point was that the people controlling production and the people selling the beer never talked except through middle people who tended to overreact.
Now we are manufacturing and distributing COVID-19 vaccine, and the whole process is starving and glutting exactly because the manufacturers and the vaccinators only communicate through layers of government that set priorities but don't manage them well. The job will eventually get done and we will reach herd immunity but much more slowly than necessary. Too bad we don't learn lessons and apply them to our new issues.
Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.