Let it be? Murphy’s Law
Ever had one of those days when if it can go wrong, it will? You missed your alarm, burnt your toast.. and you just know, today is not going to be your day?! Or what about professionally speaking when a colleague is suddenly off of work, or you’ve not saved your powerpoint that you’ve spent hours creating and your computer decides to freeze?
You are not the only one, life’s frustrations happen to us all from time to time and it’s almost always when you are in a hurry or have something important looming!
Much the contrary to popular belief, you are not cursed with ‘bad luck’, there’s an actual term for these types of occurrences; ‘Murphy’s Law’, ‘If anything can go wrong, it will’.
“Whilst there is some solace in realising that the Universe doesn’t have a personal grievance with you, it’s frustrating when you still have to keep momentum flowing both personally and professionally. So how do I expect the unexpected and plan for it?”
This concept was proposed to have manifested in America between 1947-49 when tests were being carried out on of all things, rockets. Edward Murphy was carrying out investigation work and his peers began jostling amongst themselves about things not going according to plan.
When press conferences were held in subsequent months, tales of the initial errors in testing were regaled and the term ‘Murphy’s Law’ was coined. Variations of the tale have formed over time; however, Murphy’s Law has fast gained momentum as a popular phrase in Western Culture for when you are simply having a ‘bad’ day and nothing appears to be going right.
Whilst there is some solace in realising that the Universe doesn’t have a personal grievance with you, it’s frustrating when you still have to keep momentum flowing both personally and professionally. So how do I expect the unexpected and plan for it?
The answer is you can’t. You can’t possibly prepare for every eventuality but you can implement pre-conceived strategies when they do arise and more importantly, how YOU react to them!
At Burst, we are used to things going awry on occasion, in fact we embrace it. When you have a business that has to hold together multiple strands in order to execute campaigns and Activations; it’s almost inevitable that one component won’t run flawlessly!
‘The best reaction, is no reaction?’
In the world of Brand Activations, we are often faced with dilemmas and challenges that we have to overcome in order to ensure your campaign works. From staff being poorly, deliveries not being made on time, to even the weather deciding to turn on us, ‘if it can go wrong, it will!’
So we have a compiled a few ideas that we use that may enable you to flip off old ‘Murphy’ when he next pays you a visit!
‘The best reaction is no reaction?’
Personally speaking, and depending on the content, this saying can be somewhat helpful, in business, however, to do nothing at all can more often than not lead to more catastrophic results.
When looking at problems, we at Burst like to look at the situation holistically; how can we minimize the impact to a campaign and still ensure that the desired results are achieved?
As an example; for all staffing we previously provided exact details to Clients of whom would be working on their behalf for their campaign weeks in advance of the Activation start date. ‘How lovely to get to know who will be the face for your brand on your chosen day!’ you say, we promptly realised that this wasn’t such a great idea and actually ended up disappointing our Clients in the long run and here’s why..
On very rare occasions, Murphy steps in and staff can have family emergencies, are sick or simply something has come up meaning they can no longer support your event. If you’ve had your heart set on ‘Mary’ from Bognor running your cupcake marketing and that’s who you’ve had direct contact with and have built a relationship with and then Mary the day before drops out, you are going to be disappointed, worried for who will take her place and question whether your campaign will turn out as well as hoped.
This might not be possible to do in your business, but a ‘back-up’ plan is always worth considering or at least keeping in mind when you have something important looming. From backing up your work to checking your fuel the night before; making sure you have some alternative or have considered the possibility of the unexpected, will not only help you relax immediately but will most definitely aid you if Murphy decides to turn up unannounced! ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!’
‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?’
Are your existing strategies still relevant and working within the modern realm?
We know the ‘craic’, you’ve been using the same filing system since 1965 and it’s worked so far, so why change it? Unfortunately, whilst its useful to adopt tried and tested methods of working, it’s a necessity to ensure these ‘methods’ are still effective in today’s world and sometimes you just have to ‘move with the times’.
What can come with this however, is technology failing us and let’s not forget the old fashioned ‘human error factor!
At Burst we have ensured that our in-house and Operational staff are all trained and equipped to lead and support if things go wrong and further assistance is required.
Now we aren’t suggesting you go out and retrain all staff to be able to perform dual roles, but putting a few people in your team that can is really useful if something does go amiss.
To add to this, sometimes it’s really useful to reflect upon existing strategies and procedures to ensure they are still working effectively, are current and are still beneficial to your staff and business.
‘Keep calm and carry on!’ **Shakes head in disbelief **
‘Are you really telling me to keep calm when the sky is falling down around me?’
Yes, we are. Whilst it seems sheer lunacy to tell someone to keep calm when it seems as if everything is being thrown at them, taking a breath, rationalizing and trying to apply some perspective can really help.
“Now we aren’t comparing you to a toddler, but we are saying think before you react, try to keep a calm head and see the situation for what it is.”
Think of a toddler. He drops his toy and it breaks, you try and placate him with a whole manner of things from a light song to a new shiny object but nothing curtails his anger and his wrath.
Because the toddler has got himself so worked up that ‘rhyme’ and reason no longer are even in his remit of understanding. He wants to go mad and unleash the fury and he will; but what does this serve him? He exhausts himself, gets more upset, people are looking and it still doesn’t change the fact that his toy is broken!
Now we aren’t comparing you to a toddler, but we are saying think before you react, try to keep a calm head and see the situation for what it is.
If you are calm, your thoughts become more rational, enabling you to problem solve and the people around you to not only view you with respect but it also keeps them calm too and therefore more able to support you in finding a resolution.
Usually, a situation can be resolved and even if in the rare circumstance it can’t, it’s NOT the end of the world! Use this scenario as a springboard to plan for ‘next time’, whilst demonstrating to your clients and colleagues that you are still able to function and deliver even if things do take a turn for the worse.
Whilst these ideas aren’t foolproof or exhaustive, they are a good starting point for when you are contingency planning for your business.
Remember, the Universe is not against you, things are always solvable, and whilst life b can and will go wrong, it’s how you deal with it that matters.
To quote The Beetles, ‘ there will be an answer, let it be..’