Leading the Main Street Project: Scenario

 

 

 

 

 

A small town in Texas wanted to enhance its main street to reduce traffic safety problems, enhance business, increase the number of businesses, and make the street more appealing. The main street was also a four-lane state highway that was restricted to 45 mph speed in the less populated area and 35 mph speed in the business distinct. The project was approved by the town council, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) provided funding to create enhancements that included relocating overhead wires and installing curbs and gutters while filling in drainage ditches. The project was to last for two years.

Result: Poor project communications management resulted in business owners not being aware of all the aspects of the plan. Fears arose that businesses would fail during construction. Project leaders attempted to assuage these fears, but a town council meeting was called to vote down the project. The council members voted unanimously to cancel the project on the basis of emotional arguments by business owners and a few vocal townspeople. The TxDOT representative thanked the council for its interest but announced that the project would continue. Naturally, there was an outrage about this announcement and vocal opposition followed. The TxDOT project manager informed the assembled group that the city did not have jurisdiction over the road and that the TxDOT had allocated funding on the city’s request. The project would continue regardless of unfounded fears.

Discuss:

Create a plan that could have avoided this situation. How does your plan compare to others?
Evaluate the legitimacy of the TxDOT project manager’s use of position power.
Assess what communication skills you would use in this situation.
The final paragraph (three or four sentences) of your initial post should summarize the one or two key points that you are making in your initial response.

Justify your answers with examples and reasoning. Comment on the postings and views of at least two peers.

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