In the early 90s, when I was let loose on the roads, you’d get days and times where motorways were quiet. It was great; you could put your foot down and not get stuck. Those days have disappeared, and my regular run on the M3 is always rammed (pandemic lockdown aside).
I also remember being taught to stay to the left on motorways and that the other two lanes were for overtaking. I assume it’s taught in reverse now – that people should only pull over to the left if someone wants to overtake them and that some special people are, in fact, exempt from using the slow lane at all.
The problem is, it causes bottlenecks, and after a couple of miles, the jams get longer as the slow lane remains half empty. The system breaks, and the flow stutters.
Business processes, marketing included, rely on a lack of friction for things to run smoothly, and one of the biggest challenges for smaller businesses is delegation and managing flow. There are several reasons for this, but intention and purpose rank right at the top for me.
- What is the intention/purpose for the business in this particular process?
- What is the intention/purpose of the person blocking the flow?
The reality is, these things don’t always align. Some marketers, in my experience, are more interested in making themselves look busy than delivering results. Some business owners don’t trust others to get the work done.
One of the areas I’ve brought value to companies over the past few years as an outsourced marketing consultant is pointing this out. It’s usually painful to being with, but, more often than not, less is so much more when it’s thought out and strategically targeted.
My point: You don’t need to fight irrationally to be in the fast lane; you just need to make sure you continue to flow in the right direction, at the right speed for the vehicle you’re in.