The other side of the road

On a family holiday to the US a few years ago, we were walking the streets of Washington. (An interesting holiday destination, really.) My eldest daughter was about 10 at the time, and she suddenly realised something about the traffic and she said: ‘Look Dad they’re driving on the wrong side of the road.’

I responded by saying that it wasn’t the wrong side; it was just the ‘other side’. She thought about that for a few seconds, and then said, to my eternal pride: “‘oh, I get it… there is no wrong side - they just decided to drive on the other side.”

She is now studying pre-med in Utah, and has adapted amazingly well. I have no fear that she is going to turn into a Mormon, or worse, end up in some weird-beard’s concubine. Because she understands this very important principle in life:
It is OK for people to believe in different things. And different is not always wrong, it is just different.

In an ever-changing Australia where the demographics of our customers and our employees are shifting significantly, we must increasingly walk the very fine line between preserving traditions and ‘the Australian way’, whilst being tolerant (even embracing) of change and different values without damaging the foundations.

When was the last time you examined whether the way you do things are still relevant? When was the last time you (for instance) changed your advertising message? Have you noticed that the ‘yuppies’ you once thought frequented your restaurant have been replaced by young families? Or that the traffic flow has changed and you need to open earlier or stay open longer?

Just because you did something one way (successfully) for a long time does not mean that it was or is the right way. It was just one way of doing it. And there plenty other ways of doing it.

Some of them may even be better.