The Parable of the Flying Frog

7 08 2011

I heard this story a long time ago and have just been reminded of it reading a blog. I will paraphrase here, but the full blog is worth going to.

Basically, a man with a pet frog dreams of being rich. Through a process of visualisation and free thinking he comes up with the idea of training his frog to fly.

The frog is understandably sceptical about this, but no matter how much he protests and reasons with the man, his arguments are written off as “change-resistance” (see previous blog on confirmation bias).

The man adheres to excellent management principles – institutes training, develops a plan for implementation with a nice GANT chart with milestones and stages. The frog undergoes said plan – which involves jumping out higher and higher windows – and of course it fails. Each time a milestone is not met, the frog is blamed for it.

Eventually of course the frog dies, and the plans remain unfulfilled.

I really recommend that you read the full blog (linked above) as it is well written and goes into more detail about the various management tools and tactics used and the effect on the flying frog. The RCI after the fact – why didn’t it work – the man decides that next time he’ll have to get a smarter frog (again allocating blame to the frog rather than examining the assumptions and actual causes of the failure-to-launch.

And my favourite bit – in the comments section – “so a man with a frog that can talk is upset because it can’t fly?”

No animals were hurt in the writing of this blog.

If you like this post you might also like Swimming with Sharks.

Post-script – I have just been sent the following quote: Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid (Einstein)





2 responses

12 08 2011
Swimming with Sharks « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] you like this post you might also like the Parable of the flying frog. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditStumbleUponDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to […]

13 05 2012
Steve Jobs’ 11 Rules of Success « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] in some more salient life lessons for the business world? Try…. The Parable of the Flying Frog Swimming with Sharks Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditStumbleUponDiggLike […]

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