I recently was driving and came upon some road work — no surprise, since it is the season for such projects. After the construction, there was the requisite sign indicating that the road work had finished. Nothing unusual about that either.

But a few feet after the sign indicating that road work had ended, there was another sign warning me of road work ahead. Two cars could barely fit in the “construction free” zone.

To me, this is the poster for work that is done in silos without any coordination with others. I suspect that Company A had one project and put up their sign, and Company B had the other project and did the same — both without any regard to the experience for the drivers. No one considered the road as a whole or worked with the others to make it a seamless construction project and less confusing for those traversing down the street. 

The next time you are working on something, take time to consider the impact it has with the environment around you. Who else may be affected by your work? Are there others who need to know what you are about to do and when you are planning to do it? Can you work together to save resources? 

Children are known to put a line of tape down the middle of a room to define boundaries of which side belongs to which sibling. Let your organization be the grown up and blur those boundaries as you learn to share.

beth triplett

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