Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway gave out the award for best picture to the wrong film–because the envelope in their hands contained the name of the best actress, Emma Stone from La La Land.
Beatty and Dunaway knew something was wrong but they moved forward anyway, announcing La La Land as the best picture. It was only after the La La Land team got on stage and started making acceptance speeches that someone realized the error and brought up the true winners, Moonlight.
Both sides were gracious and the error resulted in a memorable Oscar moment. But how did this happen?
Obviously, someone gave the wrong envelope to Beatty and Dunaway. But why did they not acknowledge that? Why didn’t someone step in as soon as the error was realized? More importantly, how do you prevent this from happening again in the future?
Are your employees empowered to push back and say, I’ve got the wrong envelope here–I can’t take the action I’m hired to do because something’s not right? Do you have backup plans in place to kick-in when something goes wrong in a big way?
Or will your team freeze when the spotlight is on them–creating the kind of Hollywood moment that won’t win you any kind of awards?
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