The Challenge of the New Age
Edited by David H. McIntyre and William I. Hancock
Chapter 13: Failure to Communicate: Lesson of 9/11
13 Failure to communicate: lessons of 9/11 Geoff Williams If you are going through hell, keep going. (Winston Churchill, orator, author and British Prime Minister, 1874–1965) It’s a heartache, nothin’ but a heartache. (Bonnie Tyler) INTRODUCTION Nothing that happened on 9/11 was as terrifying and tragic as the senseless murders of almost 3000 people. However, after the smoke cleared, and some of the shock wore away, many of those in New York City and across the country were suddenly worried not for their lives, but for their livelihoods. When buildings were crushed into ruin and rubble, offices and all of their contents were also blown into oblivion. THE BOND WE HAVE WITH A BUSINESS While things can be replaced, unlike human lives, it was nevertheless more than apparent to some fast-acting people that if they did not try to rebuild their companies immediately, thousands of jobs would be lost. That in turn would affect innumerable workers and their families, not to mention many of their customers. At the time of this writing Lehman Brothers was one of those companies. The international corporation, a bulwark in business since 1850, with headquarters in New York, London and Tokyo; was an epic global investment bank.1 It served the financial needs of corporations, governments and municipalities, institutional clients and affluent individuals, from high-worth entrepreneurs to philanthropists. While nobody wants to see a hot-dog stand go out of business, one can imagine that its customers will persevere and find a new place for lunch.2...
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