Scroll to top
© Optimize Consulting Inc. | All Rights Reserved

A Strange Turn of Events

Optimize Blog - April 9, 2012 - 0 comments

For 35 years, New Zealand has been the only place on Earth to force vehicles turning left to give way to vehicles turning right.  New Zealand traffic drives on the left, as in Britain.  However, at the moment, even drivers turning onto a minor road from a major road have to give way to oncoming cars making a right-hand turn.
The infamous rule has become known for causing sudden halts on fast-moving roads.  That will change at 5am on Sunday, when the rules will be reversed.  No one really knows why the rule was introduced some thirty-five years ago and in general it is viewed by motorists to be rather silly if quite courteous.
The New Zealand Transport Agency, which implements road rules, says Sunday’s switch will speed traffic flows, reduce accidents and avoid an estimated one fatality and 97 injuries per year.
When working with clients we often find examples of processes or rules that exist where no –one currently in the organization can clearly articulate why the rule or process was introduced in the first place.  Nevertheless, regardless of how unproductive the process or rule might be, it is followed slavishly with nobody seeing themselves as accountable for raising the hand and asking the question “why do we do it this way?”
For those of you with good Continuous Improvement programs you will find this strange as a good Continuous Improvement or BPM program encourages the workforce to challenge established processes and routines if a better way of doing it can be demonstrated.  For those without such a program we can say with certainty that there will be plenty of inefficient, out-dated or simply inappropriate processes that are creating drag within your organization.
Continuous improvement is not a fad but a necessary part of the leadership’s obligation to run its company properly. Gone are the days when quality did not matter – the banking crisis remains testament to this.  The new attitude is for higher quality work, and at a lower cost. In attempting to keep pace with the new attitude, a quality management system that helps keep costs down is well worth implementing.
If you don’t have such a program perhaps it is worth investigating one that suits your purpose and organizational culture.  Be it Six Sigma, Lean, a hybrid or one of the myriad of other options available to you, investing in a quality program to reduce the waste and inefficiency will pay dividends in the medium and long term.  Don’t be slaves to the past when the future is where the profit lies.
New Zealand is hoping that all turns out well for them over the weekend and spokesman for the New Zealand Transport Agency, Andy Knackstedt, said the agency is encouraging motorists to give a friendly wave when things go wrong.  And to be clear, he said, a one-fingered wave doesn’t count as friendly…

Related posts

Post a Comment