Square Wheels LO5856

Dr. Scott J. Simmerman (74170.1061@compuserve.com)
26 Feb 96 14:49:54 EST

Replying to LO5844 --

Rol, in responding to Gordon, you said:

"Up here in Maine we have a lot of seagulls, and as a result, we have a
management style -- like the rule of thumb -- called seagull management.
The best practitioners of SM are able to flap in, crap all over
everything, and flap out.

"Is this a metaphor?"

By golly, you have got something. And then think about how Birds
are a good metaphor of how organizations work (No, silly, not the
vultures -- I am NOT discussing consultants ;_) ). I was thinking
of the old geese metaphor of birds flying in formation, swapping
leadership, being more areodynamically efficient, all seeing the
vision and all that.

(BTW - Do you know why, in a typical formation of geese in
migration, that one side of the V-formation is longer than the
other? Answer later...)

Well, if you consider the differences in seagull behavior, they
fly all over the place in no particular pattern, flock and compete
when food is available -- see how long it takes for 50 to get
together when you feed one a piece of bread or fish -- it's
incredible -- and they maintain dominence and political behavior
when perching. As a more dominent bird approaches a group sitting
on pilings, the dominent one will take his / her preferred perch
away from another, who will repeat the behavior until the whole
flock is resettled.

Which of the above do you think behaves more like a typical
organization? My observation is the seagulls. The only time they
cooperate is in discovering the food -- after that it's a
dominence-dominated set of behaviors.

So, Rol, thanks for the metaphor. And a cartoon of the seagulls
will be done soon so send me an address and I'll send you some

(BTW, cont'd - Rumor has it that one side of the V is longer than
the other because there are more geese on that side. Some things
are really obvious and simple if you step back and view them

For the Pun of It!
Scott Simmerman


"Dr. Scott J. Simmerman" <74170.1061@compuserve.com>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>