This is amazingly perceptive: Eleven things organizations can learn from airports. I think this is really more about the syndromes that tend to grow up around monopolies (if you don't like your grocery store you can go to a competitor, but you don't have such a choice in an airport). However, for those of us in big growing companies, we have to be on watch for the dangers of the monolithic organization where we just become a cog in a wheel.
...No one is in charge. The airport doesn’t appear to have a CEO, and if it
does, you never see her, hear about her or interact with her in any
way. When the person at the top doesn’t care, it filters down. ...Like colleges, airports see customers as powerless transients. Hey, you’re going to be gone tomorrow, but they’ll still be here. By removing slack, airlines create failure. In order to increase profit, airlines work hard to get the maximum number of flights out of each plane, each day. As a result, there are no spares, no downtime and no resilience. By assuming that their customer base prefers to save money, not anxiety, they create an anxiety-filled system...