I recently went on honeymoon to Egypt. What struck me very quickly on arrival – apart from the intense heat for out 10pm landing – was the fact that people there have very different ways of doing things.
The first example of this was at the passport queue. Only one desk was open and we were patiently waiting for our documents to be checked when without so much as a word the operative disappeared and showed no signs of returning. This wouldn’t happen at Heathrow I thought.
Eventually a different man came along, sat at a different desk – which by this point also had a queue formed – and began to check passports.
We were ushered over to push into the other queue which, being Brits, we did with a certain degree of uncertainty.
The new operative was very fast and pretty soon we were on our way to enjoy the delights of Egypt, a lot quicker than we would have been at Heathrow.
At first I had been unsure about the Egyptian process – and may have uttered some words to that effect – but it proved effective in the end.
I’m sure many of us, myself definitely included, are guilty in our warehouses of believing that what we do is best and therefore not being receptive to other ways of doing things.
Clearly there are times, when it is a matter of health and safety for example, where you have to assert your way of doing things but I know I could be more receptive to other ideas.
A couple of years back when I was working in a kitchen warehouse one of the couriers I used to deliver the goods suggested to me that it would be easier if I just had one pile of worktops instead of storing them separately for each particular order as they were taking up too much room in the warehouse.
Did I listen, of course not, he was merely a ‘white van man’ and I was the one in charge of the warehouse, I knew what I was doing. A few months later after I got sick of the Krypton Factor-esque obstacle course of worktops my warehouse had become – and when one got damaged – I heeded the advice and made one pile of worktops.
By listening to advice a few months earlier I could have avoided a worktop getting damaged and perhaps we could all work on how we act on new ideas from others – and perhaps we should take some tips from the Egyptians.
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