Disruptive Hesitation – Abrupt encounters with a new environment

We ‘did’ the i-360; without hesitation.

It is not the London Eye but it is by the same architects at least. It is an amazing feat of engineering and style. It’s very functional (well it takes 250 people up and down 450 feet) and what it might lack in resilience to coastal winds it makes up for with great looks. I recommend a trip without any hesitation.

But this blog is not about the amazing structure or inspirational aesthetics.

It’s about the toilets.

Not the ones in the ‘donut’ (I don’t think there are any, you have to hold it in for the 20 minute ‘flight’). I mean the ones in the complex immediately around the base of the staff.

The thing is;

they are unisex.

So, as approximately 750 people an hour flow through the concourse, up and down the pole and then out via the gift shop a reasonable number hesitate and follow the signs for the loos, well one loo room in fact, with ~20 cubicles;

For men and women to share…

“How European” I heard one say (I’m unsure on the Brexit consequences of this remark).

But in fact this laid-back response was by far in the minority. Most visitors stood uncomfortably at the threshold in a moment of hesitation. They were trying to work out where the ‘other’ facility was and why so many of the ‘other’ sex were washing their hands in the wrong toilet facility.

My parental duties (nappy changing) meant that, as I queued for the separate facility for 15 minutes, I witnessed ~ 90 people go through the mental cycle of:

  • Abruptly encountering a highly unfamiliar environment
  • Becoming momentarily disorientated
  • Initiating a search for new meaning that linked to their existing experiences
  • Guessing or being told by others that it was a unisex facility
  • Resuming normal cognitive function
  • Restoring their ability to make rational decisions about their situation

 I was surprised by how visceral most peoples’ reaction was.

It really threw them.

What happens at work when we encounter a sudden change in context or environment?

  • How severe is the shock?
  • How quickly do we recover?
  • What is the impact on our business of those ‘lost and confused’ moments?

 Here we use business decision design® to design governance frameworks that are robust to such ripples in our otherwise tranquil ocean.

Link to the pic…

 Back to school…






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