This statement seems out of synch with a result focus. First, it is not accurate. Some accidents cannot be stopped before they happen. Second, it is vague. A goal or vision that flies well above any metrics.
Yet, there is something here, also for two reasons. First, consider the alternative: accidents happen. Despite our best efforts, things can go bad. Sure, the drunken driver hit a victim who could not avoid the crash. But what if the driver had a history of DUI’s or a suspended license? In some cases, more could be done to prevent many accidents. Indeed, the term “accident” can be misleading. If something could have been done to at least lower the probability, does a term that carries a hint of randomness and inevitability apply? Some intentionality leaves the scene when we default to acceptance.
Second, consider the awful logic that can then creep forward in such areas as crime. There are just a few people who do terrible things. Nothing wrong with our values or systems. Perhaps more screenings to catch the bad apples, whether thieves, abusers, or drunk drivers. Bad people are an accident waiting to happen only if no one knows who they are by name or group.
So…I now put aphorisms into two categories. One is that of a platitude that sounds good. We stand for excellence. …every problem is just an opportunity…accept what you cannot change. The statement calls for acceptance. Platitudes the way things are, not how they should or could be.
The second category is expressions I can use. If I believe that accidents are preventable, I will do far more to prevent them than if I think they are inevitable. My daughter Gillian provides another example with here mantra for the national program called SchoolTurnaound: “All children succeed. No exceptions. No excuses.” The statement has the power to stop explanations such as poverty, drug deals seen from the classroom, parents that don’t care or anything else. This statement brooks no rationale for shortfalls.
The organization I created, Results1st, is the action arm of planning, beliefs and vision. Our mandate is to see the use before adopting the slogan.