U-Turn Encouraged

NUTS is when you want to do something and you seek the approval of a higher authority. When there is no rule saying that you can do such a thing, then the standard answer is NO.

Sim Wong Hoo



While driving one day last week, everywhere I went I had to stop to allow someone to complete a u-turn. It happened three times in the space of an hour. This epidemic of u-turns made me wonder if there was some kind of hidden message?

I looked up the law in Pennsylvania and u-turns are permitted: Section 3332 Limitations for turning around. (a) General Rule—The driver of any vehicle shall not turn the vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction unless the movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic.

In Singapore, the law is the opposite; drivers are not allowed to make a U-turn unless a sign specifically permits it. This has created a No U-turn syndrome called NUTS. If there is no rule saying to do something, the standard answer is no until there is approval of a higher authority. No questions asked and everybody toes the line. The society norm works on the negative principle to create a rigidness.

The problem with a rule-based system is that it doesn’t allow for effective change. What if there is some ambiguity without a clear rule of order? What if there needs to be a quick decision? What happens in new territory? How does innovation happen?

In our constantly changing paradigm of creativity and innovation, I never backtrack. It’s a waste of time. I am a u-turn kind of gal and I encourage you to do the same. It’s legal.

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