Are you ready for a new beginning? Air travel is showing signs of revival, but we still don’t know how much and how fast it will grow. This is the right time to rethink our inherited thirst for expansion without knowing our own limits. How far should we push our optimism without having a speed control sensor to warn us about the closeness of the turning point from which doing more makes things worse?
We still make plans expecting that most things will respond in a linear way, that more input will get us more output. If we want more passengers, we add more flights, fly to more airports (even if overcongested), reduce prices, squeeze more seats into the plane, pack more people in, run more ads.
We also want to be bigger and stronger than our competitors. But the bigger we become the more we are inclined to ignore the critical resource limitations and issues of quality.
In real life however most things don’t respond in a linear way (quality in particular). This is why we fail to notice the critical point from which the quality of outcome turns downwards. From that point on, adding more flights or having more passengers only make things worse.
This happens whenever the traditional way of thinking and doing makes us ignorant to what’s happening now, when we are unable to understand early signals of this decline and are deluded by the occasional rise in profit.
By letting physical limitations and wasteful practices go unnoticed, we unknowingly increase complexity and are later surprised by unexplainable losses, unforeseen disruptions, and loss of reputation.
Relationships between growth, quality of outcome, money, and time are essential for understanding the current state of business and its future prospects.
If you are not sure how to make this work you can find some practical advice in my book “Beyond Airline Disruptions — Thinking and Managing Anew”, or book a consulting session at astuteaviation.com to make it customised for your airline.