Part of my construction detour involves back roads with a one-lane bridge. I imagine that the bridge was initially installed for tractors or even horses with buggies and no one has felt it warranted the expense of upgrading it after all these years.

Bridges are the trickiest part of building a road. They cost the most to construct and present the greatest design challenges for engineers as it is difficult to span a gap and create a seamless interface with two opposing sides.

I think the same is true in organizations. Bridge-building among colleagues is often the most stressful and time-consuming part of a task. Creating relationships when there are opposing views necessitates delicate maneuvering and often requires great energy and patience. But just as a highway bridge can save miles of driving, a solid work connection can make things much easier on the organizational journey.

Building a one-lane bridge is an economical solution for a low traffic road, but it doesn’t work for organizations. Bridges need to allow for two-way communication and mutual understanding. On-going attention must be paid to ensure their stability.

Think about the organizational road on which you are traveling. Does it have a modern bridge, a one-lane crossing or are you just staying on your own side without reaching out to others? Bridge building may not be easy, but the benefits of a two-lane exchange span the entire organization.

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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