What Virginia Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Can Learn from PwC’s 2017 Oscars Flub

Is it a sign of the impending doom of our society when we can’t even announce major award winners right?  The world witnessed a colossal gaffe at the end of Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were apparently handed the wrong envelope when they walked on stage to announce the Best Picture winner.  In case you missed it, here you go


So what can a small business owner or entrepreneur learn from this Oscar night debacle?  Actually, quite a few things:

  1.  Mistakes are inevitable.  In fact, responding to and learning from mistakes is what can help your business evolve and grow to the next level.  Put another way, experiencing failure is part of entrepreneurship.
  2. When you make a mistake, own it.  Cover ups typically backfire and make matters exponentially worse (ask Lance Armstrong).  To its credit, PwC was very quick to take responsibility for the mistake.  There was no deflection, no spin, just a sincere admission and apology for the screw up.  Does PwC’s promise for a full-scale “investigation” go too far in this context?  Who knows, it’s debatable.
  3. When you find yourself caught up in chaos, stay calm and be gracious.  Could the “La La Land” team have been more gracious and better sports about the mess they found themselves in?  You might be inclined to think they had no other choice but to react as they did, but think again.  People COULD have reacted with indignance, called for an immediate inquiry or recount, or worst of all, simply run off stage with the award and sped off in their limos.  A lot of credit to those on stage who exhibited a lot of class, professionalism, and good sportsmanship.



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