Brown M&M’s

I bet there is a policy or procedure that you have created for your organization with great attention to detail but wonder if anyone has actually read it.

When Van Halen was touring in the ’80’s, they had an elaborate stage set-up with sophisticated lighting equipment. The band knew that many venues might not be able to safely support the technical requirements of the show, so they put together a detailed, multi-paged rider to assist with set-up and tear-down. Buried amongst the lighting requirements, weight limitations and equipment lists was the stipulation that no brown M&M’s could be part of the back stage snacks. It went on to further state that should there be brown M&M’s found backstage, Van Halen could cancel the concert at the expense of the promoter without any legal recourse.

Most would view this clause as high maintenance rock ‘n roll behaviour. They would probably shake their heads in dismay.

But as lead singer David Lee Roth notes, there was method to the madness. If there were brown M&M’s in the candy dish backstage, he knew that the promoters had not read the multi-paged rider and probably didn’t follow the instructions for setting up the technical aspects to the show. Brown M&M’s equalled a safety risk to crew, band members and the audience. No brown M&M’s meant that concert hall staff had read the instructions given.

Perhaps the next time you create a manual or procedural document you should insert your own “no brown M&M” clause and see what happens.

 

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