Digging Deeper

Lahore’s traffic police was replaced by an entirely new one last year. The newly replaced force also includes female staff. The new policemen/women are called traffic wardens. This was a pleasant change for us traveling on the roads of Lahore on daily basis.

The old police was corrupt and treated ordinary motorists like criminals. Motorists were often seen “bargaining” with them at the corners of the roads.

The new police is educated, polite, well fed and (so far) does not take bribe or pressure of any kind. The police tries to give a warning to the offender or just issues a ticket for the violation. No “bargaining”.

The most interesting part of this change was how it was done. Instead of bringing change into the existing traffic police department, a new department was created and new hiring was done.

Sometimes it is better to replace complex and stagnant systems with new ones. Sometimes we need to dig a new hole at a different place to find some oil instead of digging the same hole deeper. This strategy, however, requires a lot of courage and willingness to take risks which might be there with the new system.

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