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Service-Ability: Create a Customer Centric Culture and Achieve Competitive Advantage by Kevin Robson

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7

GETTING THE PEOPLE RIGHT

At 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, a fully-fuelled Boeing 767 belong­ing to American Airlines and carrying 76 passengers, 11 crew and 5 hijackers crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre, New York. In a fireball of fuel, mangled metal and masonry, all on board were killed together with dozens more at the point of impact. Seventeen minutes later, an identical aircraft with another 65 people on board smashed into the South Tower. In a few minutes, hundreds of lives were taken, and by the end of that terrible day, the remains of 2741 people, including at least 200 who chose to throw themselves to the ground rather than burn to death, were lost in the dust and debris of what remained of the two collapsed giant towers.

Those of us who were around at the time will never forget the images of that appalling event as they unfolded on our television screens, and will still feel the shock, revulsion and fear that swept out across the world from that one small place, in one of the most famous cities on earth. In that horrific act of terror, Lenin’s revolutionary slogan ‘Kill one, frighten a hundred’ took on a degree of meaning far beyond anything we could imagine.

This most horrific terrorist attack had a devastating effect upon the American consciousness – and on the American economy. In particular, the American airline industry was badly hit. People were simply too afraid to fly, and those who already had purchased tickets were causing severe cash-flow ...

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