Monday, 1 October 2007

Over the weekend, I read an article by Bryn Meridith, President of Bluepoint Leadership Development Canada...

Bryn asks us to imagine our organisation as a tropical fish tank in need of a good clean. You remove all the guppies and send them off to the local guppy innovation spa where they experience several fun-filled exercises that teach them to be more creative. When the spa is finished these energised and creatively enhanced guppies return to the same dirty water. Strain as they might they are beaten back by the daily regime that never falters. They cannot get past the Save the Plants Committee or the Waste Removal Union, so their efforts and new ideas get shot down at every turn. They try taking their ideas to the angel fish that hover around the treasure chest but these angels are too busy worrying about purification and aeration to pay any attention. Plus, there are rumours that this tank is soon to merge with a larger tank. Everyone is scrambling to gain some information about the kind of fish they will meet, whether or not the other tank is cleaner and which fish will not make the transfer because everyone knows that when you merge tanks some fish get caught in the transfer net. All the guppies get dirty again amid the rumours and the tank’s decreasing visibility, communication gets clogged, trust in the ecosystem erodes and people’s ideas are numbed by the humdrum of being in the same old water.

Remember, leading innovation is about cleaning the tank not the fish!

Keep the faith

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