On strollers and organizational change

Here is a riddle for you.

There is a woman on the 9 am bus. A regular. She has a 6 year old daughter on a big stroller. It’s taking up all the space on the aisle. Apparently the particular stroller she used that day did not fold.

Another lady gets on the bus. A new face. She is pregnant. She also has a stroller, but her’s can’t get through because the other lady’s stroller is blocking the way.

They would both get off at the same stop.

Here are the arguments made by the bus patrons, contextually explained in organizational change.

1.The first lady is a regular. She shouldn’t have to change everything for this one case.

The ‘This is how we’ve always done it. Makes no sense to change things now’ employees. Can stunt innovation in an organization..

2.The first lady should fold her stroller. Her daughter should be old enough to sit on a chair anyway.

The subjective short term problem solvers . Be wary of these people as decision makers. They can fix things that do not need to be fixed because of their bias.

3.Both ladies should fold their strollers.

The impulsive problem solvers and partially efficient thinkers who created space for a possible third stroller-lady but did not taking into account the time taken to fold, and unfold both strollers.

4.‘But she’s pregnant’ -

The social corporate responsibility enthusiasts.

5.The first lady should fold her stroller and carry her daughter so that the other pregnant lady can fit. But promise to use her other fold-able stroller when using the bus.

The all round innovative, short term and long term thinkers. The one’s you should keep.

6.The ones who go about their business waiting for a decision to be made so the bus can keep moving.

These employees do not believe in your organization’s vision and are there for the paycheck. Get rid of them.

Which one are you?

Here is what happened: The pregnant lady ended up having to stand for the whole bus ride while the first lady stayed put. The ‘regulars’ won. And the entire bus ride was very awkward and painful experience.

Based on a true story

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