The organizers of India’s Commonwealth Games were in a furious race to have facilities ready for the opening on Oct. 3. While there is almost always a behind-the-scenes last-minute rush before any event, India’s situation was so dire it was major news.
There’s a saying that "we need to learn from other people’s mistakes as we’re not going to live long enough to make them all ourselves." With that in mind, here are some lessons to learn from India’s predicament:
1. Start early: India was selected to host the games in November 2003 but little was done during the next five years, leaving only two years to prepare for one of the world’s biggest sports events.
2. Allow for the unexpected: While we don’t have to contend with monsoons, dengue fever or snakes on the loose, no one is immune from the unexpected.
3. Work on the most important parts first: Athletes who arrived on-time had to stay in a hotel until the athlete’s village was ready. Finish parts that involve other people.
4. Consider the consequences: India’s questionable completion led to talk that the games might be canceled. Sometimes fast forwarding the video in my mind to see the consequences of stalling is enough to get me started. Why subject ourselves to consequences when they can be avoided?
5. Don’t count on the last minute: There is a saying "if it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done." But we can’t count on that last minute because it’s likely too short to make up for hours and days lost. Let’s remember to start early and finish with time to spare. It will be time well spent.
Ruth Wong owns Organization Plus. Contact her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.