Doug Holman – Business Strategy Advisor

After qualifying in Applied Physics, Doug worked in the aviation industry for 25 years, much of it focused on flight safety. Since the advent of powered flight, the number of air accidents has maintained a steady downward trend, despite ever-increasing passenger numbers. This is in stark contrast to other sectors, suggesting an opportunity to share examples of aviation “best practice” with a much wider audience.

Few words carry more stigma than that of “failure” yet we know that they all reveal opportunities for improvement. We also recognise the need to learn from the mistakes of others – as we won’t be around long enough to make them all ourselves. The key is to adopt a more positive attitude to failures – treating them as a means of learning how to avoid repetition instead of just attributing blame.

The technique is equivalent to the use of flight simulators by pilots but it also uses digital technology to accelerate the learning process. With on-line business simulations, the consequences of your decisions appear in seconds, instead of the months or even years that it takes in the real world. For decades, the annual business failure rate has been about one in ten. Countless more under-perform. Each time, a combination of known, understood root causes is responsible, often disguised by other contributing factors. The cost of this carnage and waste is mind-boggling – yet all repeat mistakes are potentially avoidable!