Orgs and Survival Instincts LO11977
Thu, 16 Jan 1997 03:03:40 -0500 (EST)

At wrote [in Disappointment -- No soul? LO11951]:

>> If you want to hunt big moving game, you must
>> move faster and with greater deception like a lioness on the kill. She
>> covers 100 meters, crawling on her belly, in grass which barely hids her
>> back, in less than 4 minutes. (To see it will give anyone the shakes like
>> I had. I was glad that I was not the prey.) She seldom misses her target
>> because she has to provide for the family.

In Utah we don't have Lions, but we do have Cougars. Not so long ago I was
camping with some friends. We had been out hiking and exploring, and came
back to camp at dusk. Early the next morning we planned on shooting
(target practice) in preparation for the deer hunt (I don't actually hunt;
I just enjoy target shooting). As I was starting the fire for dinner I saw
something move about in the bushes about 100 yds away. I pointed my
flashlight in the direction, and two eyes shined back at me. I said to one
of my friends, "Get my rifle." I loaded the rifle and looked through the
scope. Crouched in the bushes was a cougar.

I said to my friends, "Boys, we're being hunted. How does it make you
feel?" They saw the cougar, and we had just a few seconds to talk about
what we should do. Is it better to kill the animal now, wait and see if it
leaves, try to scare it away, or wait until it attacks and then kill it.

What would you do?

The cougar began to crawl towards us in a hurry. It was clearly going to
attack. What would you do? It is illegal to kill a cougar without a
license, and you don't have a license. If you shoot it you break the law.
If you don't someone (probably you) gets attacked. Your finger is on the
trigger. The cougar is in your sights. What do you do?

Now consider a different but similar story. Last year in Utah we had some
pretty bad fires in the desert. In July or August I took my family camping
in the desert. We set up camp about three miles from where the fire had
burned. It had been a few days since the fire was extinguished.

About 10:30 that evening we're sitting around the camp fire singing songs.
There was a lull in the noise. I heard a cat meow. It wasn't too loud. But
I knew I was too far away from a city for it to be a domestic cat. This
time I didn't have my rifle. I didn't even have a pistol. All I had was a
hunting knife. I flashed my light towards the noise, and discovered a baby
cougar not too far away. "Uh-oh, where's the mother at?"

I told my wife to quickly get the kids in the truck. I pulled my knife
from it's sheath, and began to scan the darkness for any movement. "What
if the cougar attacks? How many stabs do I get before I'm dead? Will it
kill one of my children before I can kill it? Am I fast enough to respond
to an attack from the side?"

Every survival instinct I had was fully activiated. My family got in the
truck, and I followed. I started the engine and drove around the place
where the baby cougar had been. After a few moments I felt it was safe to
get out of the truck. Instead of sleeping in the tent, we decided to make
the truck our abode.

Why is it that organizations can be "hunted" and not respond with some
type of survival instinct? And when they do respond, they often respond to
the wrong message or the wrong threat. And then when their attacked from
the side their confused because they thought the "hunter" was somewhere
else or something else. How can an organization develop a survival
instinct the same as a human being?


Benjamin B. Compton

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>