How Easily Can You Be Seduced From Your Purposes?
Maybe with a bright shiny new bike… just for you? Available now…in Vilnius!
An Interesting Study In How To Get Good Plans Buggered Up By Even Better Distractions: A Lesson From Vilnius, Lithuania.
Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, previously the Russian Soviet Republic now part of the EU, looked at other essentially flat terrain cities in the world and decided that if Denmark could have pushbikes freely available for people to use in the city, then so should they.
The purpose was clear… allow people to move cheaply and easily around the small city in the summer months and go green.
They decided they couldn’t follow Copenhagen and Amsterdam and offer free bikes, so a fee system was developed for Vilnius citizens…It was dead easy and cheap for citizens to move around. A simple purpose and efficient way to run!
BUT…Tourists complained! They wanted the bikes to be available to them, too. It Sounded ok because it would encourage tourism, provide a little more revenue with a friendly system. In other words, it was seductive… and Vilnius decided to expand the system.
However, quickly, many more bikes were needed, not because of the increased use, but because tourists all wanted to go to the one or two special places of the city. So, immediately bikes were all collected at these points and became unavailable to citizens across the city. Also, Maintenance costs increased. Ultimately, Citizens stopped using the system because bikes were no longer conveniently available.
Revolution was in the air! The beautiful idea got corrupted by a perfectly reasonable seductive intrusion…but it looked like the seduction had killed it!
The hard bullet was bitten and a simple adaptation was made. Great bikes, a great network of depot places, and a classically simple modern system. Swipe your “bike card” and drive your chosen bike away.
However, to get a “bike card” you have to have Vilnius resident credentials. Vilnius is back to having an efficient, easy, and convenient bike system, for its citizens only! Purpose restored!
This seduction of plans and procedures by seemingly legitimate and desirable distractions is more widespread than we think. Look around and you will often find some system that should work perfectly, but is compromised by a distraction or two that has perverted the original purpose. It takes courage to then do something about it… which is why the phenomenon is so common!
If you make a business plan:
- Research it well;
- Implement it well; and
- Run with it and make necessary adjustments to refine it.
DON’T throw away the crucial issues of the plan, just because the wind blows from a different direction…it may be an ill wind!
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