Richard Branson, after the recent Virgin Galactic tragedy puts (again) overwhelming emphasis to the fact that the most important asset for a business, it is not its money but its people. This is also a human but business message to international lenders globally, as they have targeted countries (e.g. Greece) by forcing businesses to lay off people and businessmen in Greece to think that their bank accounts are more important than their people:
Richard Branson on Sticking Together in Times of Crisis
I have often said that a company is simply a group of people, and that the most important part of any business is its people. At Virgin Galactic, our spacetourism venture, this has never been truer — especially in the days since last month’s tragedy over California’s Mojave Desert. As the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation continues, our thoughts remain with the families of the two pilots: Michael Alsbury, who lost his life when SpaceShipTwo broke apart in flight, and Peter Siebold, who parachuted to safety but was injured. This has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone connected to Virgin Galactic and our partners, including The Spaceship Company, Scaled Composites (who Alsbury and Siebold worked for) and Northrop Grumman. However, this flight test accident has also brought out the best in people, as challenging situations often do. We have been overwhelmed by the incredible outpouring of support we have received from people around the world…
Richard Branson has proved that and effective business leader by applying practical leadership stands behind his people from the first moment of the crisis:
In times of crisis, especially deadly ones, having a strong leader is the best—perhaps the only—remedy for emotional deflation. In Virgin’s case, Richard Branson didn’t leave his company wanting. Immediately after the crash, Branson took to Twitter, paying his respects for the ”brave pilots and families of those affected.” Later that evening, Branson posted a blog, again expressing sympathies for the pilots’ families and briefly outlining the next steps Virgin would be taking. Branson explained that he would be traveling to the Mojave desert, the site of the crash, immediately to be with the “hard-working people” of Virgin Galactic. ”Space is hard—but worth it,” Branson wrote. “We will persevere and move forward together.” Over the weekend, Branson continued to blog about the crash, reflecting on the pilots involved in the crash and vowing to continue Virgin Galactic’s mission. He also delivered an informative press conference outlining what is known about the crash. “If I could hug every single person who sent messages of love, support and understanding over the past day, I would,” Branson said.
Virgin Galactic seems to handle the tragic incidence as a real challenge for making space tourism, an everyday practice:
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane broke up and crashed during a test flight on Friday (October 31, 2014), killing one crew member and seriously injuring another, authorities said. The catastrophic breakup came after the plane dropped away from its WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane and fired up its hybrid rocket engine, said Stuart Witt, CEO and general manager of the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. Debris was scattered across a two-mile swath of the desert floor north of Mojave, which is about 95 miles (150 kilometers) outside Los Angeles. One of the two test pilots aboard the plane was killed, said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, who was among the officials dealing with the crash’s aftermath. The pilot was identified Saturday as 39-year-old Michael Alsbury, who died at the scene, according to the Kern County Coroner’s Office. The other pilot, identified Saturday as Peter Siebold, 43, parachuted to the ground and was injured. Siebold was transferred to Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California, according to Kern County Deputy Fire Chief Michael Cody.