I was in London earlier today and I had the pleasure of standing in the main concourse at Kings Cross for forty minutes.
(Okay that line was tinged with sarcasm I concede perhaps writing this on the train after the wait is influencing this blogs style!)
Anyway, I like to see waiting for things as a personal challenge. Especially in situations where there is no alternative. Doing it with grace can take an effort.
So standing on the platform with hundreds of other people, all of us slowly watching the ‘delayed’ notices go up on the main monitor for train after train, I started to wonder how to put the time to good use. There was no scope for getting the laptop out. With nowhere to sit there was nowhere to start typing.
Although that does bring me to a question, and if anyone knows the answer I’d love to know ~ why they don’t have more seating available in one of the busiest platforms in the country?
I assume there is a good reason, or maybe rather I hope there is! Anyway I digress. So no laptop, the blackberry was a possibility but all the emails I need to do were longer than comfortable to type with my thumbs.
It was a little too crowded to ring people and have a personal chat which brought me back to sipping my rather bitter coffee and simply thinking.
And what I thought was this – If you have to tell people, every ten minutes, that:
Platform zero is located to the right hand side of platform one*
(*This message was being broadcast over the tanoy)
then something has gone wrong with your design.
And then I started to wonder that maybe platform zero was a metaphor for something…maybe it was a representation of all flawed systems or processes.
That then led me to consider what ‘platform zeros’ we might all have in our work or personal lives.
What systems we might have that don’t really work and where we have to keep telling people how to do it properly. The ones where actually if we stopped and took some time out to rework the system, whilst it might take more time at the time, in the medium to long-term it would in fact create greater efficiencies.
Maybe we should all do what Walmart did in an effort to create more effieincies…they went looking for things to eliminate by asking their workforce the question:
What’s the stupidest thing we do around here?
It’s reasonable to think that we all have at least one ‘platform zero’ in our life. And it’s very possibly annoying a lot of people and taking up time that could be spent on more productive things.
Consider that a management and even a personal challenge ~ find your ‘platform zero’ and fix it.
That way annoying and repetitive announcements and actions can maybe cease to the betterment of all!
Until next time; be successful.
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