Give me a sign...

 ...or maybe don't.   

Our place is out 'in the sticks' so we enjoy clear roads, not much traffic and a merciful lack of this kind of visual clutter.  But a funny thing happened on the way to the next village the other day; a cross-roads had been re-arranged so that it was no longer a perfect cross.

The smaller of the two roads had been re-engineered so that the junction had been offset by about three feet.  A fine waste of public money?

I'm not so sure.  The junction had been a fairly notorious accident black spot and the new road layout seems to make the crossing just slightly more confusing.  This added complexity requires an extra pause before entering the junction and crossing the 'main' road; more thinking time, more judgement required.

 It turns out that there is good precedent here.  Engineers like Hans Monderman have been experimenting with making our roads safer by making them seem more dangerous.  Check out Monderman on YouTube but hold your breath as you watch the near misses!

The key is to engage people with their environment rather than trying to protect them from it.  I know this is a familiar mantra; throw away the rule book and empowering your people!  But I wonder if an equivalent sign for visual leaders or managers with the courage to trust the judgement of their staff as they take on risky, complex environments might look more like this:





Steve MarshallComment