How aviation safety can help your life soar

Posted by siteadmin on Thursday 8th December 2016.

A friend of mine was telling me about a book he’d just read and how it reminded him of something I’d said to him about lifestyle financial planning.  The book was called 'Black Box Thinking' by an award winning journalist called Matthew Syed.

The main theme of it is the importance of listening to feedback, reviewing things regularly and taking action on what’s been learned.

Syed uses the airline industry as the example of a good review process and what he calls an open culture.  When mistakes are made in aviation they cost lives usually, and that’s why the black box which records everything happening on aircraft is so important to maintain, review, understand and improve aviation safety.

He also mentions how Formula One Grand Prix Racing teams review their performances after each race in minute detail.  Looking out for what went right and what went wrong and how they can improve.  The British cycling team is also featured and again reviewing performances allows them to act if something seems to be failing or if there are areas where small but significant improvements can be made.

It sounds a very interesting book and one I’ll be putting on my Christmas list this year.

One of my mantras about lifestyle financial planning is really simple - Create a plan, take action and review regularly.

The regular reviews I have with clients usually come to down to two questions they want answered.  Is my plan doing OK?  And are we still on course to achieve what I want?

The best analogy I can think of to illustrate this is what happens when you take your car to the garage for a service, which is kind of a review of sorts.

Unless you’re interested in the mechanicals, you don’t care how it all works.  You just care that it works.  All you want to know when you turn on the ignition, switch on the radio or press the air conditioning button is that it all works and does what's it's supposed to do each and every time you use it.  And that's exactly the same with lifestyle financial planning.  Most people don't care about the minute detail, they just care that they can do the things that they want to do.

Thus, the most important thing that I can do during these reviews is to listen to my clients.

On the subject of listening, that’s something Lewis Hamilton might consider doing a bit more next season.

The finale of the Formula One season which concluded in Abu Dhabi some ten days ago saw him pipped to the World Championship by Nico Rosberg where Lewis defied his employers instructions for personal gain.  What he failed to do was listen (or more importantly ignored what he was being asked to do) and without question coined the phrase of 'there's no I in Team'.

While it's true he’s a sportsman, the flipside is that he’s a Mercedes employee and as such benefits from their expertise, experience and support.

Admittedly in Formula One without the team, you cannot win a Drivers Championship.  But likewise I guess without drivers of Lewis and Nico's quality, a team cannot equally win a Manufacturers Championship without the drivers.

Still if Lewis carries out a really thorough review of his season, I’m sure he’ll realise that listening and working together is bound to reap more rewards as indeed Nico did.