Tip #595:  The Vagaries of Change

“The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it.”  Dudley Moore
I recently learned the reason for the proliferation of roundabouts in the roads. I’ve never heard anyone who was happy about them and I myself have been known to complain a time or two. It can be very confusing at first, to know which lane to be in and where to turn off. I’m sure I’m not the first or last person to go around a roundabout several times before either I figure it out or take a stab at it.
Roundabouts are intended to slow down traffic. But they apparently play an even more significant safety role.
Crash data research has shown that seniors have more fatal accidents turning left than at any other time- and roundabouts eliminate the need to make left turns.
Now the reason why I’ve titled this Tip the ‘vagaries’ of change is because the research also shows that, immediately after roundabouts are installed, seniors have MORE fatal accidents. They get confused about where to go and slow down or make a quick decision to change lanes without warning to the cars behind them.
I’ve got to assume that the number of fatalities saved by the roundabouts exceeds and therefore justifies the risk that there will be an initial increase in the number of fatalities that occur after their initial installation.
So change can initially make worse what the change intends to make better.
It seems to me that this is also true of many personal, organizational and societal changes.
For example:
-An entrepreneur might start a business expecting eventually to make a profit, but will initially have very lean years.
-A family might move to a new country in the hope that they and their children will eventually prosper. However, adjusting to a new language and culture can take a toll.
-Reorganizations may be intended to help the organization be more successful in the long run, but they are initially disruptive for the employees and often for the customers as well.
I wonder: do we make changes knowing that the road will be rocky at first, or do we just see where we want to go- and possibly get surprised when it isn’t as easy as we thought it would be?
What do you think about it?
May your learning be sweet.

























































What do you think?
May your learning be sweet.

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