Driftwood Group

All Out For 60…!


Thanks, Sydney Morning Herald, for that photo!

Did that just happen?

Did the Australian Cricket Team just get all out for 60, and in only 111 deliveries…?

They’d have stayed in longer if they just left the ball completely – only 8 of them were on wicket!

@rameshsrivats captured the event quite brilliantly with the following Tweet:


Where can they possibly go from here?

Up is the answer. If you’ve reached the very bottom, and I mean bottom – that innings was worse than most played on an average Sunday down the road, by the local club for a few laughs – then surely the only way is up.

Time for some Change Management.

Somewhere down the road from this point in time, in the Australian Cricket Team, blame will land, heads will roll, some will bow out, others will hunker down, and in the end it’s quite likely we will have a significantly different team by this time next year. Watch out, England – it’s never over!

It’s the same when a company experiences a catastrophic failure – be it a major product recall, project failure, earnings disaster, stock price collapse…the list goes on.

But regardless of the company or the nature of the fail, blame lands, heads roll, people bow out, others hunker down and in the end it’s quite likely you will see a significantly different company one year on.

The important bit is how this watershed happens.

In the world of Test Cricket, let alone those hallowed Ashes, this process begins via the pack of hyaenas known as the media – you watch, they’ll spend the next week tearing the eyes out of the players, selectors, Cricket Australia bosses, coaches – everyone is fair game, and no-one should be spared.

In the corporate world, unfortunately it seems, blame is often placed squarely upon the shoulders of a single individual – and more often than not it’s the CEO that falls on their sword.

But is a catastrophic failure one person’s fault alone? Or was it caused by a more systemic issue? I am sure there are exceptions to the rule, but of those I’ve witnessed, such corporate disasters are almost never one person’s fault.

They are usually a company-wide failing of some sort.


Our earnings are down significantly this quarter, but that’s because our user-number growth is out of step with our advertising revenue projections. Rest assured however, that Twitter is here to stay. Goodbye, Mr Costolo.


At Lululemon, our yoga pants don’t pill because of a product failure, but rather because they don’t work on your body – in other words, it’s the customers’ fault. Time to go, Dennis ‘Chip’ Wilson.


In 2014, the 2000 new trains France’s SNCF ordered were discovered to be too wide to work effectively at the 1300-odd regional stations they were intended to service. Someone is to blame, but this is France, and things are, let’s say, complicated…they’re still arguing over who didn’t mind the gap.


We’ve launched a worldwide product recall due to incorrect product operation, caused by a range of potential issues in manufacture, but rest assured we’re working to solve the problem (if only we knew what it was)…34 million airbags anyone?


Interestingly the CEO presiding over that last one said in June 2015 that the investigation into what has caused this issue was not progressing well, but has vowed to stay at the helm until the root cause is determined. At which point, no doubt, he will fall on his sword too – but this will be a shame. (They still turned a profit for last quarter, by the way).

It’s a shame because the last example above is a Japanese corporation. And they usually stand apart in the world of blame. Rather than spend the 6 months post-disaster trying to find a scapegoat to take the fall, the Japanese traditionally work tirelessly to solve the problem. They actually band together to sort out the issues and get the job done. They see failure with different eyes – ANY failure was a group effort – no one individual could have possibly caused it.

I think we can learn a lot from that.

In the sporting world, we love an underdog – one who’s been on tough times, but shows potential and might just win, if the wind blows right and the Gods of luck shine on them. And underdog sporting teams band together when they fail – they train harder, for longer, they make comebacks, they rise to the top again.

Companies should too – how does yours deal with failure?



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Alex Kelly

Alex Kelly

Alex is a Director at Driftwood Group | Occasional Recruiter | Amateur Wordsmith | Career Interventionist