We were sitting outside at dusk last night and saw what looked like a teeny, tiny hummingbird sipping from the wisteria flowers. And then we looked again and the head was so much a part of the body, we realized that it was a moth. One of those BIG moths with the long proboscis. Eric made it into a koan but I wonder just as much if it might be the title for a new, spoofy business book. The analogies and treatments of business seem to have evolved/devolved into children’s storybooks. For instance, My Ice is Melting, which is a change management book based around the story of penguins who are losing their ice floe. Or Who Moved My Cheese?. The stretched metaphors and oversimplification of these books really cheese me off.
And, I find I’m not alone. According to Del Jones in a USA Today article written way back in 2002,
Parables, short tales of fiction that teach a life lesson, seem to divide people into two camps. In one are avid fans who find parables central to their business libraries. Many in this camp consider the books to be life changing, sometimes bordering on biblical.
The other camp derides them as simplistic pulp. Even though they often take an hour or less to read, this camp finds them a waste of time. They are insulted to endure modern-day Aesop’s tales written for adults at a fifth-grade reading level
So, how ’bout you? Are you reading this saying, “Yes!!!! Fly like a hummingbird, look like a moth!!!!” or are you saying, “Yes! show the metaphor for the claptrap it is!”