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Managing in Africa: We may have wild animals but we write concisely. We have a to-the-point culture.

Posted on: November 7, 2009

Harare International Ariport
Image via Wikipedia

Yes, there are wild animals in Africa and sometimes you meet them

A jet on a domestic commuter flight collided with a squad of warthogs that had found their way onto the runway during the night at Harare International Airport.  The jet hit the pigs just as it screaming down the runway in take off.  The undercarriage was damaged and the plane veered off the runway at speed.  The pilot brought the plane to a safe stop and all 30-40 passengers were evacuated safely though obviously startled.

That’s my summation.  I am following this story because I want to know what happened to the pigs.  It’s called the zeigarnik effect. We always want to know the ending!  No one says what happened to the pigs (or whether anyone has mended the airport fence).  So I keep reading the stories to find out!

Manage for animals and be to-the-point ~ very to-the-point when you work in Africa

While I’ve watched the story I read an extract from a statement from the airlines chief executive.

In exactly five sentences, the CEO summarizes the situation and he does so in logical order.

A template for perfect business writing

I’ve copied the statement below and added a heading before each line.  It’s a case study of a perfect business memo.

Situation : something has happened and we must pay attention

“An Air Zimbabwe MA60 aircraft impacted with warthogs during the take-off roll on November 3, 2009 at approximately 19:36.

Mission : this is why we must pay attention

This resulted in a rejected take-off.

Execution: Specific events in logical order

The aircraft was on the take-off roll and was about to lift off the ground when it hit the five warthogs.

The nose and left main landing gears collapsed after the impact.

The aircraft veered off to the left side of the runway and stopped off the runway with damage on the engine propeller and on the wing tip.”

Missing:

What will happen next and who to contact?

NB:  There is no mention that the passengers got off unharmed because no one is hurt.  We take it for granted that if casualties were not reported, that there is NTR – nothing to report.

I still want to know what happened to the pigs.  I know it is not particularly relevant. It is just the zegarnik effect, I know.

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2 Responses to "Managing in Africa: We may have wild animals but we write concisely. We have a to-the-point culture."

Morning Jo, to answer your concern about the pigs. There weren’t any. The nosewheel collapsed and the plane veered off the runway. If they hit pigs then it is not an “accident” and they still have a clean record. Africa might be pithy but you might remember that it also has a different honesty to Europe.

[…] I had a follow-up to my post on Managing in Africa. […]

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