Using signals for managing change

May 30, 2019

ISSN# 1545-2646

Using signals for managing change

In the days of the horse and buggy, there was little need for the management of traffic on the roads.  The volume of horse drawn vehicles were not many and the speed at which they navigated the pathways were extremely slow by today’s standards.

Today with high speed highways and numerous roads, vehicles and pedestrians, the management of the flow of movement is critical to the safety and well being of everyone.

As we moved from an agricultural society and rural in nature to the industrial age and urban centers, a system of signals evolved to support the more regular flow of people, cars, other transportation and some lingering horses and carriages. By using signals, everyone could understand their individual roles and responsibilities to the movement and flow of the moving parts.

In your business today you have many moving parts as well. It flows best when everyone knows their individual role and how and what it contributes to the complete picture.  As changes take place and you need to make adjustments to your business operations, you also need to use good communincation signals to convey the changes which are taking place.

Consider what happens when a new traffic light is put up on your daily commute to work. This change can become a frustrating event.  You had a routine of leaving at a certain time and you had every light timed just right so you would arrive at your office just in time to get the first cup of coffee and be at your desk at starting time. Now a pattern has changed.  Another traffic light now hinders your existing flow to and from work. You now need to change your habits.  Maybe you need to wake earlier to accommodate the new light.  Maybe you explore a new route to the office. Maybe you talk to your boss and get them to let you work virtually at home rather than the drive at all.  The signal or communication which involved change could result in an improvement or you can simple stay frustrated with the change and simply complain hoping this some how will change things back – IT WON’T.

This week take a look at what signals and communincation you are using when making changes in your business.  Are they as easy to understand as Go, Stop or Take Caution? If not then you need to consider a bit more time in what best communication needs to be in your organization so the flow of business can work at high speed.

Want your organization to have warp speed work flow with as few incidents as possible? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 to consider what signals you are giving to your team.

Questions or comments – email us at or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246
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