In summer 2012, anyone with a modicum of cosmic awareness wouldn’t have failed to notice that other than Venus and the Sun aligning, there were several unfortunate moments of coincidental alignment. Howarth and the Germans; Leeds, the Chinese and the Dalai Lama and the social media universe shifted to western Scotland when a schoolgirl blogged about a school dinner. I’m not going to expand, Google them. There will have been others since.

So let’s rewind. In the risk management item of the planning agendas there might have been the odd question like “what will we do if it rains?” or “will we have enough chairs?” and it might even have been muttered, Doctor Pepper stylee; “what’s the worst that can happen?” But perhaps not “what if the Dalai Lama shows up?”

So, when waiting to welcome the Chinese Olympic team and dignitaries to your city for their pre-games training camp and the Dalai Lama really does show up, it’s a ‘bit of an issue’.

In all the above mentioned situations, did anyone wish for the specific unfortunate outcomes? NO. Did anyone plan for them? NO. Could any of them have been foreseen? Possibly two out of three; but the Dalai Lama really doesn’t come to Yorkshire that much; no really! None of the project plans would have had a desired outcome to ‘ensure we make the most monumental mess up ever’. However, once a potential issue is identified, plans MUST be amended accordingly – action; reaction.

There was obviously some stupidity involved in some of the examples which required specific action that didn’t happen or as quick as it should. I’m not condoning those actions or non reactions and I’m not saying they shouldn’t have attracted attention or comment but there’s usually a considerable jumping on the self righteous bandwagon which occurs too.

However, there would have been people involved who acted in all innocence; it unfortunately went wrong for them. For those who were inexperienced in those situations, it’s an unfortunate lesson learnt but nevertheless, experience gained; it went wrong for them too. For those who should have known better; there’s a wealth of information suggesting what they should have done.

For those considering having a laugh at unfortunate situations, it’s worth considering those innocent folk are often the ones who are trying to explain or provide help.