Radio Lessons #98 – Left vs Right
About two-thirds of countries drive on the right side of the road. Among them; the US, Canada, Sweden, France, and China. Alternatively, The UK, Australia, India, and Japan all drive on the left.
Crazy? No, and the answer is a bit of a history lesson.
In medieval times everyone ‘drove’ on the left. In this ancient, lawless time, the primary transport was horses and travelers were on the look-out for the constant threat of surprise attacks by enemies or thieves. In those days, it made sense to ride on the left side of the road; 90% of people are right-handed and passing on the left allowed for the arm holding the sword to be free to defend against foes at any moment.
By the 1700s, transport in the US had progressed. Large wagons pulled by one or several pairs of horses dotted roads. Drivers didn’t sit in the wagon; he or she was probably right-handed (holding the whip) and usually sat on the rear left horse. Wagons passing each other on the left made sense too, allowing drivers to see clearly and keep the wheels of each wagon clear of each other. It made sense to shift the side of the road.
Sometimes the way we do things is driven blindly by how we have always done them. Is your brand guilty of that? Your show?
The opportunity is to always evolve, not just ‘change for the sake of change’ but rather the relentless search for a better way. Reverse engineer the way competitors operate and execute, steal the best ideas, pivot when you need to and constantly challenge your own systems and habits. Advancing through endless small (or large) course corrections will keep you on the road to success. No matter what side you drive on.