A.A Milne...Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin.
It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. And then he feels that perhaps there isn't. Anyhow, here he is at the bottom and ready to be introduced to you. Winnie-the-Pooh.
My sixteen year old read this to me on Saturday morning, but that is a story for another day…
Doesn't this remind you of management in business today? Bump, Bump, Bump. Here we are again, trying to re-invent the wheel, sorting out the same problems and teaching the same lessons. Reading the balance sheet and coming to the same conclusion. For the following quarter or month or year, we will do more, so that we can do better, all in the name of growth.
It is after all, as far as we know, the only way to do things, work harder, work smarter, expand, increase profits. Sometimes, granted, just like Edward Bear aka Winnie-the-Pooh, we too feel that there must be a better way to do things, but bump, bump, bump, just like Winnie there, we also feel that maybe not.
Either way we seldom take the time out to investigate. And even if we do, another little success or more pressing issue, in the form of an enquiry or complaint comes our way, our introduction to the problem, client, or issue concluded, we rush on our way to try and get the quickest solution, in other words, the mad rush to the staircase starts all over again.
AA Milne continues…
Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders…
This sentence, got me thinking about how exciting it is to be a child and how a year seemed like an eternity and now that we are all grown up, our years become blurred with work, haste and industrious action. The latter leading to some sort of industrial action, leading to some sort of haste, leading to some sort of blur and then on another day similar to the one before, bump, bump, bump.
But the final bit of brilliant writing really hit home…I quote:
The Piglet lived in a very grand house in the middle of a beech-tree, and the beech-tree was in the middle of the Forest and the Piglet lived in the middle of the house. Next to his house was a piece of broken board which had: TRESPASSERS W on it. When Christopher Robin asked the Piglet what it meant, he said it was his grandfather's name and had been in the family for a long time. Christopher Robin said you couldn't be called Trespassers W, and Piglet said yes, you could, because his grandfather was and it was short for Trespassers Will, which was short for Trespassers William. And his grandfather had had two names in case he lost one - Trespassers after and uncle, and William after Trespassers.
"I've got two names" said Christopher Robin carelessly.
"Well, there you are, that proves it" said Piglet.
In our crazy blur of head bumping activity, we are faced daily by the logic as illustrated by Piglet and Christopher Robin in this very intellectual conversation, but instead of smiling and or guffawing and or writing it off as a brilliant piece of imagination and even more brilliant lesson in literal simplicity, we gape and stare and write it into procedure and law and get really confused when the head bumping blur intensifies! After all, more than one person agreed to this. An entire boardroom of senior managers sat and discussed in length and with much wisdom this wise procedure, rule or law. Surely it MUST be right.
My advice today, is sit back, count the bruises, simplify one procedure, get rid of another and introduce a new and creative way to tackle an old problem…also remember to sit with your kids of all ages from prenatal to retired, tonight, and read some Winnie-the-Pooh whilst reveling in the sounds of their giggles. Definitely more fun than that eternal head banging.
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