Every agency has some sort of traffic system.
The inspiration for the best traffic system I ever worked with, came from a story about a steel tycoon.
The American entrepreneur, Andrew Carnegie had just bought Bethlehem Steel.
It was in trouble because it was under-performing.
To make money, a steel works needed to do between 2 and 3 smeltings per shift.
Bethlehem Steel was only doing one smelting per shift.
Energy and morale were low.
Carnegie came to look around his new steel works.
The men, wanting to put on a good show, worked a bit harder.
Carnegie asked the foreman how many smeltings they’d done today.
The foreman said two.
Carnegie got a piece of chalk and wrote a huge number 2 on floor of the entrance to the factory.
When the night shift came on, the day shift workers showed them proudly what Mr. Carnegie had written.
The night shift were furious.
They weren’t going to be beaten by the day shift.
They worked even harder that night and did 3 smeltings.
In the morning, they kicked the number 2 off the floor, and replaced it with a huge number 3.
Then they stood and watched the day shift’s jaws drop as they entered.
The day shift weren’t going to be beaten by the night shift.
They went absolutely flat out and, that evening, proudly replaced the number 3 with a huge number 4.
From then on, Andrew Carnegie was getting between 3 and 4 smeltings per shift.
That’s more than 300% increase in productivity.
He hadn’t threatened anyone, or fired anyone, or given anyone a raise.
He simply understood that competition isn’t a dirty word.
It’s fun.
People enjoy it.
Money isn’t the only motivator.
If it was, with the best-paid players in the world, England would have won the world cup.
Instead of failing to qualify.