Of Last Straws, Melons, Feathers, and Nails
While the Arabic proverb speaks of the straw that broke the camel's back, Wikipedia reports variations on this causality chain theme, including the straw that broke the donkey's back, the melon that broke the monkey's back, and the feather that broke the camel's back. Such linear views of blame extend to nursery rhymes that remind us that "for the want of a nail...the kingdom was lost." In doing so, one may be led to believe that the
last straw not only acted alone, but plotted alone, planned alone, trained alone, and succeeded alone, without accomplices, all in a linear sequence. Surely hero status in the making, ready to be honored by a Frank Sinatra recording for doing it "my way." In an education system where grades are earned by students, who speak of "my GPA" (grade point average), might they leave school ready to think and act alone, into organizations where they may well encounter pursuits of a root cause, ever mindful it may get personal one day if they are perceived as the last straw.
But...what if the belief in a linear causal chain was broken and the lone straw realized it had received help from other straws that began to see themselves as team mates? Would conversations about "My GPA" shift to "Our GPA"? and how "We won the contract by doing it our way." Turn the coin over and conversations that replace me with we will soon lead to the discovery of multiple causes of each and every event, as the organization steers away from a culture of blame of the lone last straw, melon, feather, or nail. Call it team work in the making when organizations begin to think together, create together, learn together, work together, and lead together.
If you're interested in exploring the implications of the awareness of the limits of the myths of last straws and the power of thinking together, we invite you to join with peers at the In2:InThinking Network 2012 Forum in Los Angeles, California on April 19th through 24th. This year, our ever timely focus will be;
"Leading with Better Questions"
For reservations or more information, visit our 2012 Forum website at www.in2in.org/forums/2012 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Forum registration fee is $400 for the weekend Conference, with free attendance (without paid weekend Conference attendance) for 16 Pre-Conference sessions and 5 Post-Conference sessions, plus one Post-Conference for $40.
Register by Friday, April 13th to attend any of our Pre- and Post-Conference sessions.
Registrations for our Weekend Conference will be accepted as late as Saturday, April 20th.
For a glimpse of the excitement we offer, link here for a 1-minute photo montage from our 2011 Forum, and here for a 2-minute montage. Link here for a complete list of our previous Forum UPDATES.
In2:IN 2012 Forum Team