It has become common place to see tennis balls on the bottom of walkers, ostensibly to allow for smoother movement along the floor. I can understand why someone jury-rigged the first walker to allow for the proper balance between tension and glide, but I cannot fathom why the generations of subsequent walkers have not come with a more permanent solution. Everywhere there are still walkers with yellow balls cut open and stuck to their bottoms. 

Instead of decreasing, the use of tennis balls on equipment is actually expanding. I attended an event at a relatively new grade school, and ALL of the students’ chairs had four tennis balls stuck to the bottom. I can imagine some poor janitor sitting there with his X-acto knife slicing open the balls like melons and wedging them onto the chair legs.

Why is it still acceptable to have garish balls stuck to the bottom of furniture and equipment? There has to be an equally functional way to achieve the same end, even if it is a grey tennis ball instead of a florescent one. Can’t someone come up with a more tasteful solution? 

It may seem like a non-issue, but little things that are ignored signal that it is acceptable to settle or be satisfied with sub-par performance. Take note of the next thing you see that is equivalent to a tennis ball on a walker and make the effort to bounce it out of existence in your organization.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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