DDLS Philippines Senior Technical Instructor Peter Jungfer takes us on the road and shares his observations about driving and business navigation.
I was driving to work the other day and I was watching the drivers of the cars around me and there seemed to be a common theme. Something that not only is an issue for drivers on the road but which I also related to management and high-level business people as well. It seems that there is an affliction called “the broken neck” syndrome that is prevalent in all parts of our daily lives. The fusion of the spinal cord in the neck severely restricts whoever is afflicted to turn their head and absorb the vital information located in their surroundings. Everywhere I looked, I saw more and more people that have this affliction.
What it does is to restrict the person’s ability to turn their head thus relying on the movement of their eyes to be able to see what is happening around them. This, in a car driver, leads to a lack of awareness of the vehicles that are aside and behind them. I observed that this issue leads to some obvious short- and long-term issues. To begin, I noticed that there was the development of tunnel vision which severely limited the driver to only what they could see directly in front of them. Now this by itself is not life-threatening but, when applied with the reduction in the field of vision to only what they can see directly in front and maybe only the 30 feet beyond the nose of the vehicle, it severely limited the scope of vision of the driver. Secondly, this hampered the driver from making informed decisions about which lane to cross into next, how fast to drive and consider hazards ahead in the form of construction or collisions of other vehicles. Thirdly, taking consideration of what danger may be lurking from either side or behind their vehicle.
Once I realized that this affliction is abundant in the driving community, I understood that it is directly responsible for almost all the collisions that I see every day on my drive into the office. This led me to start to form a hypothesis on how this condition affects our business navigation as well.
A business leader needs to have a knowledgeable, inquisitive mind to be able to adequately develop the vision for the direction of a company and the strategy that will need to be applied if it is to succeed.
This understanding of the vision will then allow the company to align the business tactics to be used with the strategic positioning of the company to allow the staff to become participants in the fulfillment of the strategy.
But what will happen if the leaders have been affected by “the broken neck” syndrome?
How will the vision be developed, and will the outcomes be appropriate for the success of the business?
If the leader is only given information from the tunnel that appears in front of them without the information that can be gathered from the side, rear and above, how an effective strategy be formulated?
To address this the driver of the car develops the other senses that will deliver a greater input to their driving skills.
This is information from the other road users blasting their warning devices (horns) if a collision seems imminent. The use of the hearing technique as well as the tunnel vision may allow a more comprehensive awareness value of the road use, but will just these two inputs be effective?
If we can add the experience of the driver to react in certain circumstances that they have been able to learn over many years of driving, then this may allow some compensation for the lack of vision and reactive nature of blasting horns.
But is it enough? I think that the development of inputs from all possible locations within the driver’s scope would be necessary.
To bring this back to a business model would it not be reasonable to take consideration of all the managers and business owners? Aren’t they the ones with expertise within their chosen fields? Can they not relate in the most effective way the impacts and alterations required of the strategic deliverables?
So, if a driver needs input from their own senses, the participation from the other drivers and the information from passengers within the vehicle to make the most appropriate decisions then it would seem logical that a business leader needs to do the same.
Effective leaders don’t have to be the only source of information for the survival and prosperity of a business, but all participants need to have an input into the delivery of the outcome.
This is how success is created.