We can analyse this incident in terms of organizational intelligence, as follows.
|A member of the crew found the bag and noticed the word "BOB"||Good observation|
|communication||This finding was shared with the pilot and other crew||Enables collective response|
|The word "BOB" was interpreted as "Bomb on Board"||Schneier points out that there are several more likely interpretations.|
|The captain decided the risk was serious enough to turn the plane around and land back in Sydney.||Schneier writes: "Even a moment's reflection is enough to realize that this is an extreme overreaction to a nonexistent threat."|
|learning||The Australian transport minister blamed the person who wrote on the bag, calling him "irresponsible at the least and horrendously selfish and stupid at the worst".||Schneier writes: "Irresponsible for what? For writing his name? For perpetuating common flight-attendant slang? It wasn't the writer who did anything wrong; it was those who reacted to the writing."|
|Prime Minister John Howard praised the crew for their quick reactions, diligence, and observation skills.||Schneier writes: "I'm sorry, but I see no evidence of any of that. All I see are people who have been thrust into an important security role reacting from fear, because they have not been properly trained in how to sensibly evaluate security situations: the risks, the countermeasures, and the trade-offs."|
|Now every wacko in the world knows that all he needs to do to ground an international flight is to write "BOB" on an airsickness bag.||Schneier writes: "Somehow, I don't think that's the outcome any of us wanted."|
Further comments and examples in Schneier's blog (October 7, 2004).