Lesson Learned: put strict, clear policies in place, communicate them to those impacted.
My case study in point has to do with a "pass-through" service 3L Publishing provides. A "pass-through" service means we are the middle business involved. We work with a vendor to provide that service, but it's not a service 3L makes money off. It's a service that is part of providing service to our clients. Recently a mistake got made and 3L had to absorb the cost of the mistake. Now the problem with it is that 3L doesn't make money off the service. So when asked to absorb the mistake we had to essentially fund the project that had no connection to us actually making money.
This mistake, which mistakes are fine as long as you learn from them, made me step back to evaluate our liability in providing this service. As a result, I realized I need a new policy in place regarding the liability.
So my next step is to write the new policy, implement it, and communicate it.
Because this policy wasn't in place, there were no guidelines to follow. I had no recourse to apply any accountability. Normally when business is going great this kind of mistake can absorbed, but when business isn't going great this kind of error can actually become a true setback.
Strict, clear and consistent guidelines (The Rules) will hold the line. You then have something to reference and hold both sides accountable. I don't want to carry liabilities when I'm not making money off a service -- that is bad business formula.