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Secrets of Success

The Rules of the Road

Every day in this country a miracle happens.
People get into their cars and drive through towns, on side roads and on high- speed beltways and interstates.
They are in vehicles weighing over a ton driving at speeds that may exceed 70 miles per hour.
Over the course of a year, they do this hundreds of times while driving thousands of miles yet somehow almost all of them manage to arrive safely at their destination.

How is that possible?
The answer is simple.
People follow the rules of the road. Here is how it happens.

There are Unspoken Agreements

Before you can get a driver’s license, you have to pass a test to demonstrate you understand the rules of the road.
We have collectively decided, for example, that red will represent “stop” and green will signify “go.” Imagine what would happen if every time we came to a traffic light people rolled down their windows and shouted, “Who thinks we should all go on green when the light turns?”
There are other unspoken agreements:
When the car in front of us slows down, we slow down.
When we want to turn or change lanes, we agree to use our turn signals.
On an interstate the slower vehicles use the right lane and the faster cars or trucks use the left lane.

When people join your organization, are they educated about the way people interact and work together? Do they understand and agree with that?

Information is Communicated and Continually Updated

If you need to know about the traffic in your area, simply turn on the radio. The traffic report is updated every ten minutes and the information is available to anyone with a radio. The updates are structured in such a way that you only need to listen to the parts of the broadcast that pertain to you.
If there is a major change in the road conditions because of accidents or weather changes, that is also communicated.
There are other ways to receive information. Alerts are posted on overhead freeway signs letting you know how long a backup is going to last. You can also obtain information on line before getting on the road.

Consider your organization. Do people feel they receive information that is relevant to them? Is information shared on a timely basis?

If You Break the Rules, There are Consequences

If you are caught speeding, you get a ticket.
Continue to speed and you can lose your license.
Drink and drive? You may go to jail.
Drive recklessly? You may wreck your car or even lose your life.
For many of the rules, there is a system that allows you an opportunity to plead your case and explain your side.

Where you work, are the rules enforced? Is there due process? Do people think the rules are reasonable? Do they even know what the rules are?

People Have a Vested Interest in the Outcome.

On the highway it’s easy to identify people’s self interests. Every person in a car/truck/bus or 18-wheeler is trying to get from Point A to Point B safely, so it is in everyone’s best interest to cooperate on the road.

What about your organization? Do people understand why they are doing what they are doing? Do rules and policies make sense? Is there a direction on which everyone has agreed?

Think about your “organizational highway.” Are the “vehicles” moving in an orderly fashion, cooperating with one another or are some of the “cars” careening off the road and flying into ditches? Do the “drivers” know the rules and consequences?
Is there buy in?
Knowing the answers regarding your organization’s rules of the road can help to assure everyone’s “ride” will be a safe one.

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CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488