Being on Autopilot has its advantages. It can perform many of the pilot’s duties in an airplane such as controlling speed, thrust and both horizontal and vertical navigation. But the need for trained flight deck personnel still exists.
A winter day when a flock of geese brought down a jet
Eight years ago, a commercial jet taking off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport struck a flock of geese and lost all engine power. Pilot Sully Sullenberger (a Purdue grad), with 155 people on board, quickly assessed the situation and determined landing in the Hudson River was the only viable option. His training included water landings. He expertly brought the craft down, evacuated the passengers, and twice inspected the cabins for passengers before exiting the plane. Miraculously, everyone survived with few injuries. A member of the National Transportation Safety Board called the feat “the most successful ditching in aviation history.”
The plane came down in the early afternoon, and fortunately the Hudson river was full of ferries and other water craft who raced to the plane and rescued the people coming out on the wings.
Can businesses go on Autopilot?
When the owner or CEO goes on vacation, he or she is putting the business on Autopilot. Being on “business Autopilot” at times is necessary, but it’s dangerous to rely on the status quo very long when trying to steer a company in the right direction. Just as a pilot will quickly take over from Autopilot when an unexpected event occurs, you may encounter unexpected turbulence while trying to meet ambitious goals. Worse, if you have no plan of where you want to go, you will always be reacting to external forces. You need a plan! Find an experienced mentor to consult while developing or updating your plan. This will bring wisdom and support to your side.
So again ask yourself, is your business where you want it to be, or is it on autopilot? Maybe you’re at a point where your company is successful, but you can’t seem to take it to the next level. It is lonely and at times stressful at the top. You may find yourself exhausted because you are in uncharted waters and worry that a wrong move could be calamitous. An experienced mentor will probably have encountered your challenges several times before and will also have associates who are “trusted advisors” with expertise in many areas of business.
Why Andrew Grove, CEO of Intel, published a book “Only the Paranoid Survive”
- Five years ago BBC News reported a quote by Richard Foster, Yale University: “The average lifespan of a company listed in the S&P 500 has decreased from 67 years in the 1920’s to 15 years today.”
- Peter Diamandis, in a 2014 presentation said that the impact of technology is driven by two things: costs rapidly decreasing and number of calculations per second rapidly increasing. (In 2016, an integrated circuit sported 10 billion transistors!) What would you say the improvement in technology was over a 40 year period (1971 to 2012)? Speeds were 10,000 times faster and costs were 10 million times lower. Multiply the two together and you get a 100 billion-fold improvement.
- Ever-improving technology coupled with ideas for how to exploit the new power along with a business model that makes money is what produces disruptive innovations that have savaged so many established industries in the the world.
- Many futurists believe the Internet of Things (IoT) will bring more wealth and value to the world than the original introduction of the Internet. Along the way, it will bring more disruption to the status quo. Are you intimidated about the future or do you see it as a lot of opportunity?
Next time your company goes on Autopilot you might ponder these points.Tags: autopilot, Diamandis, goals, Grove, mentor, Sullenberger, technology, wealth