When the System Breaks Down

Every second Tuesday of the month, I attend a business breakfast.  I always find it worthwhile.  I meet new people, hear some great speakers, learn new skills or information.  I’d have started going sooner but those early morning starts put me off.  Now I wouldn’t miss it.  I come away full of energy and enthusiasm for the rest of the day.  Each month we are treated to a lovely breafast, and it all costs absolutely nothing. 

Well, this morning didn’t run quite according to the usual script.  I arrived as usual to find a group of business people twiddling their thumbs and making polite small talk outside the building.  The doors were locked and the halls inside were dark.  Hmm.  Not good.  The President of the group was busy on the phone trying to solve this problem, and we waited, and waited, and waited.  In the end we gained access to the building, but not to our usual meeting room.  As for breakfast, all we could muster was some water.  So we made the best of what we had, found a room to use and the speaker, what a trooper!, started his presentation.  By the end, breakfast had hurriedly been thrown together and the usual meeting room opened.  It was an unorthodox meeting, and I hope it never happens again, but the unusual situation brought us together, gave us more time to chat and network, and highlighted both the speaker’s and President’s professionalism.

So what led to the eventual success?  Here are some tips if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

  • Stay calm.  You’ll be able to think more clearly.
  • Draw on all your resources.  Call on whoever will make a difference.
  • Keep a sense of humour.  Getting grumpy won’t solve the immediate problem.  Save that for later when reviewing the event.
  • Be persistent and resilient.  If at first you don’t succeed… you know the rest.
  • Communicate.  Keep everyone in the loop.
  • Make the best of what you have.  We used the time for networking, and found an alternative room.
  • Learn from what’s happened.  Analyse and improve.
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