Time Out for the New Traffic Plan …The Kotter Kringe

John Kotter must now be cringing each time that someone mentions that he paid a visit to Trinidad and Tobago. In January 2008 the guru of Change Management – John Kotter, visited Trinidad and Tobago. Attendees forked out the massive sum of $5,000 to hear Mr Kotter extol on leadership success and with good reason, for many are the organisations that have implemented Kotter’s Change Management models with success.
So what happened in Trinidad on July 15th 2012??? I think that at best, a case study was created on what could possibly go wrong during the formulation and implementation of change initiatives and the “what if” Kotter’s Change Management Principles had been applied – and that is provided that a group of individuals do in fact take a Time Out to reflect on what worked well and what did not work so well during the implementation of this change initiative.
The objectives of the new traffic plan as stated on the Ministry’s website are to:
• Reduce travel times
• Improve mobility for public transportation and private vehicles
• Minimise “near misses” and accidents
• Control roadside parking
• Increase capacities (vehicle volume)
• Facilitate travel demands into and out of Port-of-Spain
• Lessen conflict points
• Prepare for future travel demands

In the absence of all the facts associated with the development and implementation of the change initiative, there are however some glaring observations. Let’s face it, there are some changes that do not have to be implemented, before you can assess the impact. There is a term in science known as Simulation. Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time.[1] Simulation can be used to show the eventual real effects of alternative conditions and courses of action.

Simulation could have pre-empted the impact of:
 a single lane heading east off the Cocorite stretch to George Cabral Street, in the midst of which is located the St James Infirmary – a medical facility that has ongoing pedestrian and vehicular traffic and now results in a traffic jam that backs up to the next medical facility in Cocorite.
 The slow down in business activity on the main streets, Western Main Road, Trgarete Road, Ariapita Avenue, as motorists and delivery vehicles question where do we park? Is this a highway? Businessmen are losing thousands of dollars daily
 Motorists demonstrating the natural penchant for Trinis to mash gas on an open road leaving both pedestrians as well as motorists who are attempting to cross the main roads in a state of protracted suspense. the Western Main Road has already recorded its share of accidents
 Relocation of traffic jam from main roads to side streets in residential areas
Maybe Mr Lee Sing got it right when he said that “citizens are not planners” and maybe unfortunately the developers and implementers of this new traffic management plan were in fact citizens …… That said I look forward to the rapid return to the drawing board and simulations that lead to the stated objectives being realised …. Time Out.
Judy Joseph Mc Sween is the Business Intuitive/CEO of Meredith Mc Sween International – using Untapped Knowledge to facilitate internal transformation in individuals, teams and organisations. Contact Judy for information on her “Time Out Corporate Interventions” Email judy@meredithmcsween.com or call 684 9827

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