Delta Air LInes is now a huge enterprise in a difficult business. One thing I must say about them, is their technology has gotten better and better. I use their website, electronic boarding passes, get flight updates on my mobile phone, etc. This is fabulous!

Yet, like many companies, Delta has taken technology too far. They pepper me with surveys. I typically ignore them, but last week decided to respond. Why? On my flight from Dallas to Atlanta on Thursday (July 18th) an utterly charming flight attendant was posted in the First Class cabin. Darn, I wish I knew her name because I’d put it here. She was on flight 8778.

Somewhat enthused that I could give Delta some great feedback, I opened the survey. What did they ask me about? Every damn irrelevant input you can think of. They were basically asking me to serve as an auditor for their procedures, asking if a given employee (person in the role) thanked them for their business. Who cares? How many robotic thank you utterances am I to recall?

The people at Delta are not dumb. They have, however, succumbed to a common decision trap. They decide (unconsciously most likely) to focus on inputs instead of outcomes. When the results are not good, what do most do? More training! On what? You guessed it-the inputs.

Delta, your aiming at the wrong target. The great news is, so are most of your competitors. It won’t be that tough to stand out.

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