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Twitter, Ash and Governance

April 20, 2010

I’ve got stacks of theoretical and conceptual material to work through so I don’t really want to get too much into commenting on current events…but for the benefit of anyone outside Europe…the Icelandic eruption and the consequent disruption of air travel is a big deal.  The media here is full of reports about people who have been stuck overseas and can’t get back to the UK.  The government is taking steps to use the Navy to evacuate people from the mainland.  Eurotunnel is booked to capacity, extra ferries are being laid on. There are lots of reports about people being charged extortionate amounts to rent cars.  It all sounds like one of those movies where a group has to race against time to get to the pick up point for the helicopter/submarine /ship etc.  Even if flights begin to get back to normal now it will be days before the backlog can be cleared.  Given this I was interested by the discussion at Global Dashboard about the organizational and communication performance of different UK and European organizations in responding to the crisis here and here.  The lesson is the usual one that it doesn’t matter how good the decisionmaking is if you can’t communicate with the key people affected.

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