Today I boarded a Southwest plane from San Franciso International Airport bound for John Wayne in Orange County. I’d just spent a couple of days in San Francisco and Silicon Valley and had my mind on the exciting things I’d seen in the world’s technology epicenter.
My mind was on the amazing, forward-looking things being done by my company and the likes of Google, Facebook and Apple. I was in 2013 and beyond.
Does this problem still exist?
It was jarring to hear the flight attendant break me from my technology reverie with the announcement we’ve all heard a thousand times (at least):
“Federal law prohibits tampering with, disabling, or destroying any smoke detector in an airplane lavatory; smoking in lavatories; and, when applicable, smoking in passenger compartments.”
I’m sure those of us who travel frequently can all recite this line from memory. Smoking on planes is a thing of the past…do we need to tell people not to punch other passengers? Not to steal items from the airline? Would anyone actually consider tampering with a lavatory smoke detector?
Maybe, but unless you’ve been cryogenically frozen since 1995 when the law was passed in the U.S., unlikely. And is the danger so great that it warrants repeating this before every flight? Hard to imagine.
My real issue was the message’s lack of value. Wasting people’s time with archaic and irrelevant information is a problem…it diverts attention from things that matter and helps justify tuning out.
Some companies are very careful and measured with what goes out internally and externally, and everyone is better off for it. Just like a 12-step problem, you first need to recognize the problem.
How much of what your company tells people is a wasted and/or archaic message? What have you done to fix this problem?