What we can learn from China & Korea

February 13, 2017

One of the problems that society faces is an ever-increasing amount of traffic on the roads. With this increased traffic comes an increase in the amount of road rage on the streets.

For town planners, it is important to understand why road rage happens. These bouts of violence are often because of frustrations drivers face, hold-ups in traffic and the actions of other road users.

Why am I telling you this? Well, it all has to do with the way Korea decided to tackle one of these frustrations.

Back in the early 2000's, Korea decided to implement a new traffic light. This traffic light had a counter on the red light so that drivers knew how long they had left to wait. The light was a resounding success and had a real impact in reducing accidents at junctions.

Excited by this prospect, China decided that they would do a similar sort of thing. They decided, however, that it would be better to place the countdown timer on the green light. Of course, China hadn't realised why the traffic light system was working as well as it was in the first place. Rather than quell the frustrations of drivers on the road, the kind downtime on the green light turned into an invitation for motorists to speed off at each junction.

China had made the same mistake that most businesses do. They took massive action in order to change the way they were working but did not understand how the action was meant to work in the first place. Let me give you an example now from the business world.

How many of you blog? How many of you have been told that you need to blog in the past? I'm betting that if you run a small business, most of you would have been told you need to make regular blog posts in order to keep your site running properly. But, people don't realise why bloggers were targeted by marketers in the first place.

Originally, before blogging was seen as a business tool, marketers watched what bloggers were doing and how much traffic they were able to obtain. Many of them took on the idea that in order to be successful on the Internet, you needed to blog. What they failed to realise was how the bloggers were becoming famous in the first place.

Bloggers were popular because they had a passion for the work they were doing. Bloggers were popular because they released content on a regular basis, sometimes thousands of words and night, but spoke to a very niche target market.

Just having a blog is not enough. Having a blog which is updated regularly and contains information on subjects that you are passionate about and that your clients are passionate about is far more useful (and will pay far more dividends) than just having a blog for the sake of it.

What you can take away from this blog!

There are many different things that you are told you need as a business, from Facebook pages to twitter accounts, accounting software and even websites. Before you start down the path of creating and updating all of these things, make sure you know why you are doing it and how each step is going to enhance your business. Don't be like China, racing to get over the green light first. Be like Korea and wait until the time is right.

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Steve Mellor