Whenever I am in London I always take the red double decker buses. They are so much more interesting than the tube and if you are lucky enough to get the seat at the top right at the front of the bus it really is a fascinating treat. From up there you see the world in a completely different way. Nobody in the city sees London like that except for those people who happen to be sitting in those four seats at the front of all the red double decker buses and bother to look out the window.
You notice a lot of good things. The architecture on buildings that you never see from sidewalk level. You see the colours, the trees, the movement of the people. You see some of the crazy fashion styles of Londoners mixed in with backpack wearing tourists. You see the lineups for the theatres, people having a pint outside pubs. You see all of these things that you just can’t observe walking at street level
You also notice the bad things, the risks, in this case the near accidents. You would be amazed at how many people almost get hit or even potentially killed on London streets on a daily basis. From up there I wished that I could send a text message to the woman who almost got her head cut off when she decided to stick it out into the street to look for a bus coming from the left when we were coming towards her from the right. I would text “enjoy today, you almost missed out on it”. Pedestrians cross the street without looking while texting. Others see the bus but think that with their normal walking pace they will make it across in oodles of time (which of course they don’t and are only saved by the bus driver putting his foot on the brakes). Cyclists squeezing in between cars, through red lights and up one way roads (in the wrong direction).
I spoke on a panel once where one of the panelists who was working in green energy said how he works in sustainability but really he knows a ton of stuff about green energy and very little about everything else in the field. He wished that he had more time to step back and see more how what he did in his job fit into what the company did, what the company did fit into what the industry was doing and how all that fit into the wider picture and vice versa.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had the equivalent of the front seats on a double decker bus for our businesses and our jobs. A chance to unzoom, clear our heads, take it all in and then zoom back in again like we do with google maps. Perhaps if we did we would see more of the strengths as well as some of the weaknesses and risks a little bit clearer. I’m sure google will invent that at some point…