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A bright idea

news #dlg-digital

A while ago, I heard a story that made me think of how we work here at DLG Digital.

Just before Christmas, a county council in the south of England told one of its lighting engineers to go out and fix as many faulty streetlights as he came across.

Instead of heading out once it was dark in the hope of coming across lights that weren’t working, he went on Facebook.

He posted on a resident’s group, and asked locals to tell him about streetlights near them that weren’t working.

Every business has processes, but if someone comes up with a better way of doing things, it’s time to stop doing the old thing and do the new thing instead.

By going direct, Robert located and fixed 60 streetlights in a week.      

For him, it made more sense than driving around to find them.

For locals, it was easier than the usual reporting system: filling out an online form or leaving a message on an unmanned phone line.

Those methods meant it took up to 28 days for things to get fixed.

By using Facebook, taxpayers got to have their say in a way that suits them, and the work got done faster than usual. All good, right?

Not if you’re the council.

The council was upset that proper procedure wasn’t followed and gave Robert a slap on the wrist.

Told off... for using his brain and for using the tools most convenient to the customer.

Every business has processes, but if someone comes up with a better way of doing things, it’s time to stop doing the old thing and do the new thing instead.

That’s what we do in DLG Digital.

Doing what’s right for customers is more important than doing things the way we've always done them.

If Robert worked for us, people would still be stopping him on the way to the loo to say well done.

His bright idea would have been shared business-wide.

He’d be writing this post instead of me.

Robert said: “I really just wanted to help people out and thought this was the most effective way of doing it. It was direct action, actually engaging with the people.”

An agile business needs to know when to drop “process”.

And if your process means it takes 28 days to fix a light, it’s time to try something new.