Where You Goin' Buddy?
I sort of think more organizations could use some New York taxi drivers on their staff... especially when it comes to systems thinking. In the game of Get-From-Point-A-to-Point-B, the average taxi driver (once the passenger communicates Point B effectively) is on a mission: weave through the quagmire of concrete to reach Point B (preferably safely). Very few have GPS. Even fewer speak English. But they all have the same goal: Point B.
Many organizations couldn't handle a taxi driver. There is too much ambiguity. They know the streets of New York (all 5 boroughs) like the back of their hand. They know where the construction is. They know where the temporary clogs are. Regardless of how little English they may speak, they will unabashedly tell you how much they hate that part of Broadway/Times Square has been shut down for pedestrian traffic. Their focus is Point B. They don't need a Six Sigma black belt to work their way through the system. They will not call a committee meeting of other taxi drivers to figure out the best route. You point them in the direction you want to go, and that becomes their focus.
So how much are you allowing your people to be New York taxi drivers? Are you pointing them in the right direction and then letting them do the job they do best? Or are you still trying to be a back seat driver? Are you relaxed or white knuckled and pale? Are you communicating Point B or are you leading them in circles and racking up higher charges because of it?
So many lessons from New York... wish I could have stayed longer.