London Riots 2011 in Focus

What do the 2011 London Riots tell us about Focus?

Big convoy of armoured pol just cme back thru centre of Croyd... on TwitpicThe first and most obvious thing is that the widespread and apparently random nature of the disturbances caught the police wrong-footed. Police resources (that seems a very clinical description of the courageous men and women involved) were simply stretched too thin – as we saw in the YouTube clip from Clapham (below). Just a few coppers against hundreds of yobs and looters just didn’t stand a chance. In other words, not being focused made the police ineffective. Contrast that with the very visible police presence in Croydon on the Tuesday evening (pic ) – there, a focus of resources sent a very clear and effective message.

The converse is that the sheer number of looters concentrated in small areas made it hard for the police to deal with it. One or two people breaking into a shop, and the police can nick them easily; hundreds breaking into the same shop, and it becomes a whole lot harder. In other words, by being focused into a few areas, the looters were more effective. Yobbish, cowardly, criminal, but effective.

So what’s the learning for us in business? Apart from making sure our insurance covers civil disobedience, that is (as I had to in a frantic call to our broker on Tuesday when we got the call from the office that they’d been told to leave urgently – false alarm, as it turns out, a scare and a wake-up call nonetheless!). What we learn is that we can’t deal with everything all at once – and nor can our competitors. If we try we’ll be like the police on Monday night, too few resources doing any one thing to be effective. Instead, we need to be more like the looters (no, not robbing our clients blind!) – focusing resources and overwhelming anyone who wants to hold us back.

About Andrew Horder

Founder of the blog at TheBusyFool.com, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique Focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The Busy Fool's a to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon http://andrewhorder.com/amazon-azlw
About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of the blog at TheBusyFool.com, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique Focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The Busy Fool's a to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon http://andrewhorder.com/amazon-azlw