Sciology = Science + Technology

Commonsense in Technology

Organizational Growth and Freeway Traffic

Posted by sureshkrishna on July 30, 2008

Did you every wonder any kind of correlation between the Organizational Growth and Freeway traffic ? As i travel a lot on the freeway over the weekends (to Southern California especially on the Route 1), i found an interesting correlation among these two.

Everyone of us would want to do great jobs and grow in an organization; Be it a small or big organization. Every once aspires and dreams to take some dream jobs and work towards it. Your success at work is mainly a function of yourself, organization, boss and job. How many times did you ever wonder that if i had a better boss, if i were in a  better project, if i was in “ABC” organization, etc… I see some of these scenarios and could not resist to compare it with the why we drive on the freeway.

Your Growth and Boss : For many of us Boss is the “Company” to you. As he is the person, everyone looks at a company. If he gives us a good feeling, you feel happy about the company and if he is bad, you are screwed. Boss is the one who recognizes the stuff in you, promotes you at the right time. Your growth pace is directly proportional to your Boss and his work. If Boss is sluggish and slow, so is your growth rate and opportunities. Many a times his speed is your speed (I often hear that many people leave the company because of the Boss and NOT because of the Organization).

Now compare this on a single line freeway with no turnarounds and no way to pull out of the road. Your Boss is the Vehicle in front of you. You are following the vehicle and your speed is DIRECTLY proportional it. If the vehicle in front of you is going fast you are going fast; if its slow you are slow. There is no way to bypass or move into another lane. You need to wait till he takes an EXIT and you are driving on your own. Does it ring the bell.

Corporates and Freeway : Many people that i know work in corporates so that they have the flexibility to move around the globe (with the companies multinational presence) and take on different areas of work (which could translate to different departments, business verticals and corporate divisions). When you typically work in such environments, if you do not like your boss or you want to move on…. you always have the OPPORTUNITY. Move to a new Division or Department or new Geo Area…. you are most probably set. You do not worry about being stuck to your SAME Boss for a long time.

Now look at the Freeway with multiple lines. You are driving in one lane and your vehicle in front of you gets clogged, move on to the other lane and drive ahead. You have many possibilities in terms of how you want to go and at what phase you want to go.

Of course it is the ultimate BAD LUCK, if ALL the lanes are busy and there is no way to escape :). The only thing you can do in this scenario is either to complete the travel or take an EXIT and move on to another freeway.

Oversight : We all want to do the dream job and in any organization there is a job that is most sought after. We all are in that QUEUE to get that job and achieve our goals. But we seldom see a job that is less sought after, BUT takes you to your destination much faster. We are so obsessed in doing our RIGHT job, we often forget that there is a less trodden path which would also take you to the destination.

Its easy on Freeway. We all want to go FAST, so we take the “LEFT” most lane. There are so many people who wants to drive faster, you see that the LEFT lane is full of vehicles and the other “SLOWER” lanes are almost empty. Even when we can move to the other lanes to avoid this big QUEUE, we don’t. It takes a little bit of insight and smartness to move from the LEFT lane to the other SLOWER lanes and reach the destination FASTER than the LEFT lane.

Dont you thing this happens with many us ? I will be glad to hear your experiences and such analogies.

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