bowl of M&M’s, with all of the brown M&M’s removed, [is] to be placed in their dressing room” (Wikipedia). They have even been noted to cancel at certain venues over time, if these demands were not met. First review, this may seem very demanding, outlandish, and just another demand by someone “who can” demand it… It is so much more than that though.
Consider the case at face value. The band has a contract, and within the contract are stipulations (such as above) which must be completed. Also, embedded with the contract, is a lot more legal jargon which most of us would bypass. Before you jump to the defensive state, arguing “I would read the fine print,” I want you to pause and perform a self-check… Would you really read the fine print? Most people, (and I would be willing to bet – most) skip stuff like this on a daily basis at some point. When you plug in your GPS – a screen appears with a disclaimer prior to operation – have you read that? What about each time you install a new app for your iPhone, Android or other brand, do you read the TOS prior to accepting to install? If you do – my hat is off to you…
The point that Van Halen was making is that if the tiny details are missed that have no significance – what can be said about the larger, weighted, and critical needs (which may include safety, or important to quality requirements). The attention to detail can be something that stands between success and failure – life and death… you get the idea. Looking at the “attention to details” at a macro level – the same applies to our professional lives. I know many people that have been “let go” from companies and the reasons, they insist, for being separated were insignificant. I would argue that part of the time – it was not that particular event which led to the undoing, but cascading events and the one being referenced was the line in the sand. Or quite possibly, it was their “M&M.” Business management is no different than a contract for the band Van Halen – it takes a wide array of actions to make things happen. However, if we are missing the tiny items – what does that say about the bigger ones – and how could one argue any different?
References and other articles:
“Van Halen.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 30 May 2014. Web. 30 May 2014.