Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you didn’t own a car? I have. And when our car was going to cost more to fix than we wanted to pay: more than the car was worth, we handed in the car registration plates, sold the car and wondered what to do next.
Life without a car requires a change in mindset.
Trips away from home need to be planned, either by public transport, walking or bicycle. I have a growing appreciation for our local bus system. Nothing is perfect, but it is certainly adequate. I think of it as being driven to work. I can stare out the window or be engrossed in a book. I am much more aware of my environment as I am amongst it, rather than being cocooned inside a car. I wait at the bus stop, breathing in the fresh air, watching and listening to the birds. I people watch at the city bus depot and train station. Don’t get me wrong, I have days when I miss owning a personal vehicle, mostly for the comfort and the car stereo.
What I have found interesting are other people’s attitudes to my not owning a car. People can’t quite believe how someone can survive without one. It’s these attitudes that make me realise how much of a car culture we have here in Australia.
I admit not owning a car isn’t for everybody. I am lucky. I have local shops within 20mins walking distance, a bus stop down the end of my street, and work is only a 30min bicycle ride away. I can afford to live local for awhile. Besides, I estimate around 80% of the time, my car sat unused in the driveway, like an oversized paperweight. I now look at the empty driveway and wonder how to use the extra space…
I don’t imagine that being car-free is a long term thing. Although what I have enjoyed most, is my personal change in mindset. The subtle shift of being much more aware of ones environment and being organised for trips big and small.
Lately, with my change in car situation, I have been reflecting a great deal on mindset. I think mindset is an important factor in responding to change and applying corporate sustainability concepts to benefit business. Cleaving to, “this is the way things have always been around here” is closed thinking that restricts the exploration of innovative ideas. Viewing problems with a different lens, or forging innovative relationships with new partners are examples of how companies breakfree of traditional midsets, and create new value.
To challenge the way we do things, I thought I would leave you with a cool infographic. This is intended to challenge the conventional approach to the everyday meeting where you hope to generate ideas. I recently held a meeting where I insisted we consider a problem alone, before regrouping as a team to discuss our ideas. It was my attempt to break away from GroupThink – and it worked well. The infographic below describes the difference between independent vs group brainstorming.