What is a “Meta” for? (Make that Metaphor)
Many of us think successful executives are 800-pound gorillas in the
corner office. Big, brave, and bold. In reality, of course, many
successful managers are owls, foxes, sharks, or even turtles. I am
speaking, of course, in metaphors.
A metaphor is a figure of speech which imaginatively compares one
complex thing with another that is well known. Metaphors are an integral
part of our business language that both defines and reflects
reality—and in an organizational setting we are often unaware that we
use metaphors all the time.
Coming up with a metaphor for your organizational change may be helpful in communicating to employees what the organization is trying to become.
Spending time thinking through your organizational metaphor can be time well spent. Here are a few examples. Your organization may wish to become a:
- a goal-seeking machine with interchangeable parts
- a biological organism that continually adapts to change
- a central brain that can respond to, and predict, change