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08 Jul '13

SDR: For mature audiences only

Posted by T.J. Addington in SDR
OK, I acknowledge up front that a few who read this blog will possibly be distressed by the language. That being said, I will write it anyway.

Every organization should have a rule about bad stuff that happens - and it will. The bad stuff might be an employee who gets into trouble, a stupid decision that leads to unintended consequences or some other "bad news."


The rule is that leaders and supervisors and boards do not like surprises so when bad stuff happens - and it will, they need to be told immediately, no matter how bad the situation is.

In our organization we call it SDR. It is the Sh*t Disclosure Rule. I use SDR intentionally among our staff because it is something they will not forget - since that is not language we normally use.


What I tell them is that I recognize that bad stuff happens. When it does I want to know immediately, not later, not after they have tried to contain it but immediately. I will be more unhappy if I don't hear about it or if it comes later as a surprise. Likewise, if anything bad happens in my division of our organization, I send my boss an SDR email or make a phone call. 


Why do I want to know? Because I don't want a surprise and because I want the option of either myself or another leader helping to manage whatever situation it might be. SDR goes with another embedded rule, "No surprises." No leader likes surprises or wants to hear from others what he or she should have heard firsthand from someone in the chain of supervision.