We made a mistake - end of the story?vaishnavi
September 4, 2014
- You sow a seed, with an intention that it will one day provide shade to many. You water, nurture and care for it. It grows into a small plant. It becomes your baby. One day, you find that someone has stepped over it! Though not deadly, damage done is very painful. You don’t know if the stepping over was an intentional act or a mistake, but you are pretty upset about the damage itself.*
I will explain the above bit in just a little while.
Our team had chalked down a marketing strategy to spread the word about our hiring campaign. The campaign involved a programming challenge. We had set ourselves a goal that we wanted to achieve everyday. And one of the ways to achieve the goal of spreading the word was to spread the word on various communities - on google groups.
We emailed the members in the communities on their respective google groups. But here’s what went wrong - the email looked like spam.[Our intention wasn’t to spam, though]
We realized the mistake in the copy which made it seem so, but it was too late - the emails had been sent. This had its own obvious repercussions. This resulted in members in the communities getting agitated and also public embarrassment to us.
The first few lines above were written addressed to the creators of the communities. If you were the person who sowed the seed to create the community or you’ve watered, nurtured and cared for it, then we’re sincerely sorry. We understand that you created this group with the intention to foster interactions and growth in people with common interests. We take the ownership of the mistake. Our heartfelt apologies to you and also to the members of the community to have encountered this email.
Yes, we made a mistake. We apologized. But, is that the end of the story?
We brainstormed to find the root cause of this problem so that it can be avoided in the future.
This is not a mistake that one individual is to be held responsible for. Things went unnoticed by the team, as in the whole organization. Categorized below are the things that resulted in something that we pushed out with less than mediocre quality -
At times, we do tend to get carried away in the flow. We take certain things for granted and sometimes lose our mindfulness. Through the campaign we were busy spreading our attention across many aspects of its marketing. But, we let the fact of every aspect needing equal amount of our attention and care, slip out of our mind.
Questioning the Reason:
We also didn’t question enough why we were doing the thing that we were doing. Be it while creating the template or while sending it to communities.
We failed to stand in the shoes of the reader of the content and think about how they would perceive it. This is something that we would definitely look forward to adopt in our culture.
Speed over Quality:
In the situation of urgency, we sometimes make a choice between speed and quality. We do make a conscious effort in catching ourselves choosing speed over quality, but seems like we failed this time.
Here’s a checklist of things, which will help us avoid us making similar mistakes:
Does the person forwarding the content have at least 15 mins to spend before hitting “Send”?
Does the person have enough knowledge and experience in the organization’s quality standards?
If she does not have enough experience, is she pairing with someone with enough experience?
Has the person gone back in time when she didn’t even know about Multunus and seen the content and analysed how she would perceive us, after having read the post?
Every incident, happy, sad or ugly helps us mature as an organization and as individuals as well - and this is one of those which did teach us a lot about empathy, respect and mindfulness.