Escalators and
change management

I’m not sure whether this short and fairly blurry video actually shows the very first escalator in Uzbekistan. But what we see are people for whom it is very difficult to use something as mundane as an escalator without any accidents.

The mishaps of the escalator users are not really funny, but quite instructive: Within 40 seconds, we get to see the effects of poor change management that may of course be really funny, but only for us who are not involved.

The people in the video are surprised by a technological change and let us see some reactions that we might know just as well from life in a company:

  • Initially, they approach the new situation with confidence.
  • They underestimate how the situation is different and do not understand the new requirements.
  • They fail and even run into the risk of suffering injuries.
  • They switch off the change and use the escalator as a conventional stairway…
  • …because this constitutes a familiar and self-controlled action.

Conclusion: Due to the lack of information (basal change management), the efforts and investments (in this example only, of course) result in the uninformed “change addressees” finding a workaround to recover the old conditions. This could surely have been achieved at a lower cost.