KMP Enrichment Blog for the month of February 2021

By David Applegate, EHS Manager

Communication Chaos!

If the truth is to be know, I must confess that of all the places I have traveled I have not gone to the one place I really want to visit.  And, that place is Yellowstone National Park.  Oh yes, I have seen many videos and watched many television specials that feature this magnificent National Park.  I have also watched many National Geographic Specials that explore the different habits and lifestyles of the animals that live there.   Then, there are the beautiful scenic views and the numerous natural wonders like: geysers, lakes and huge water falls within the Park.  And, with all the shows I have watch, all the pictures I have seen, and all the articles I have read my desire to go there only grows deeper.  I cannot stop imagining what it must be like to be there as a guest, or go there for a vacation, or maybe even stay on an extended backpacking trip.

Of all the splendid sights and wonderful sounds of Yellowstone the one sad blemish that shocks many of us is the numerous scars of the forest fires that destroyed much of the park in 1989.  And among those ashes is the story of a communication disaster that almost caused more damage that the fire itself.

The story is told of how the workers of the private company that ran the concessions in the park became worried that they might be in serious danger because of the many fires threatening the park that summer.  Rumors began to circulate among the employees that the Executives of the concession company had a ‘secret’ escape plan mapped-out that would help them elude the dangers of the flames if the fire got too close.  Information also began to spread through the ranks that the workers would be on their own regarding an escape route from the fire.  It was not long before the concession company had a near mutiny among the workers since it appeared that the Office Personal were seen as taking care of themselves first and the employees were thought of as second, if at all.

Once the news reached the company officials the Concession Company hired a forest service spokesman who was able to bring daily updates about the fire to all the employees working throughout the park.  It was soon discovered that there was no such plan as an Executive Escape Route, and that the company had every intention of making sure every one of their employees were safe during the disaster.

From my view of things, I can attest to the fact that rumors often spread like wild-forest-fires and are often far from the truth or the actual reality of the situation.  It may have seemed foolish for those Yellowstone employees to believe such a heartless rumor about their employer, but it is easy for people to create their own reality when the true reality is not communicated to them.

One core leadership principle that has often helped me is: never assume that anyone knows anything.  As a leader one can never communicate enough within their area of responsibility.  It is imperative that every employee – even those that are working at the far extremes of the company’s communication line – are included and know what is going on in the minds of those at the center of the company.

Many years ago, Francis Schaeffer wrote a book entitled, No Little People.  In the book he suggested that in God’s Kingdom there are no little people or no little places.  I think the same idea applies to those who are leaders.  Everyone is important.  Everyone needs to know what is going on in the company – both the big news and the smaller details.  The more people are informed, the more they feel part of the company and the less chance there is for misunderstanding.

In conclusion, I am reminded of the numerous way our company reaches out to us and intends to keep all of us informed and included in the companies ‘information loop.’  If you are  curious and wondering what is happening among the ranks of our employees there are a number of ways you can discover such news.  For instance, we sponsor a web site at: and a Facebook Page that can be found at: for those who are part of the social media scene.  Then, there is our newly established KMP Employee Newsletter featuring updates, important events and often the arrival of new employees and new family members.  We also feature a Podcast that is available on Buzzsprout media.  Many employees can find their picture and other goodies posted at our company “KMP Family Bulletin Board   which is located at: .”  Then there is the connection that we all have through Bamboo at: .  Our Leadership and Enrichment Blogs can be found at:  There is also a link to our new Training Center and all the calendar events that are happening there can be seen at  All of these are windows intended to communicate information, news events and the different happenings that surround our work environment know affectionally as: our KMP Family.