DC, it's the people, stupid

Hurricane season in Florida runs from June through October with storms clustering toward the end of the season. For our family preparation scales with scope. For tornados we have basic supplies, for hurricanes we fill the bathtub with water, the cars with gasoline, and the phones will full charges. 

Of course we aren’t the only ones who deal with the storms. Businesses have to adapt and balance the sometimes conflicting aspects of serving customers and hunkering down. One business does this methodically well and gets a bit of media attention for it. It’s of course, Waffle House. 

How does the company decide when to close stores or open stores during hurricane season? With a decentralized command of course. From 2016: 

“We’re a 24-hour restaurant, so oddly enough shutting down is a big deal for us. When it comes to making the final decision, we let our operations team on the ground, like individual restaurant managers, make the final decision based on local conditions. But our job (as corporate officials) is to give them all the support they need to stay open.”

Decentralized command isn’t a strategic choice, it’s a people choice. It means choosing wisely, training well, and developing fingerspitzengefühl. From that comes trust, and from trust the possibilities are endless.