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Unintended Consequenses


In a little less than a month from now 17 years ago, I was working late because my son the next day was having a medical procedure done. I was running the cnc router and watching the clock as there was a tv show I wanted to get home and watch. I decided to make one more pass with the router before shutting down. During the last pass, a piece of the part I was machining started to move, and I reached into the router for whatever reason, I think, to pull the scrap piece out of the way. The router caught up to my hand and cut off the end of the index finger, almost cut the middle finger off, and cut a tendon in the ring finger.

The story is not about injuring myself, but it is about unintended consequences in decision-making. The compounding of errors that lead to bad things happening. So many accidents are the result of compounding errors, airplane accidents, car accidents, home accidents, etc.

What is bringing the incident to the forefront 17 years later is that I am beginning to have issues with my right hand because I have to overcompensate with my right hand when lifting things. I am at the stage now when I close my right hand; I cannot always straighten my middle finger. I have to use my left hand to straighten it.

The moral of the story is in decision-making; you have to look at possible unintended consequences as well as the intended outcome. It is critical in business and life. It can take years for unintended consequences to show up.


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MY BUSINESS MUSE

My reflections gathered through reading, listening, personal work experience and observation 

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.

Peter Drucker

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