In the context of business, what I call ‘”Playing the Insurance Game” is when someone, particularly one in a position of responsibility or authority, does not go all out, does not investigate fully, does not check all the doors or open all the drawers or lift up the carpets or walk behind the buildings. They know that if they did, a certain percentage of the time, they will find something to which they should attend. However, doing so is a lot more work and so they play the insurance game.
Instead of doing the hard work of prevention, they simply gamble that nothing will go wrong and if it does, that it will be chalked up to just bad luck and/or they will be able to handle it without their superiors finding out about it. Unfortunately for the organization, the insurance game costs more than prevention, but it is often difficult to detect even after the fact. However, the greatest cost is that those underneath the player can often tell that the player is calling in their performance and are thus greatly demotivated.
The Insurance Game is sometimes called the “Big Ship Syndrome” i.e. the org is so big it will take a lot of hits to sink so why sweat it?
“When people ask what you do, tell them ‘Whatever it takes.’” – Unknown
“The extent of your impact on the world depends on the size of your devotion to excellence.” – Robin Sharma, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”
“Nonperformance can always be explained away but performance stands out like a ton of diamonds.” – Harold S. Geneen,1910-1997, former CEO of IIT
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier