Elephants can build up a memory over the years and hold on to it.
The lead elephant plays a key role and because she has time to build up a social knowledge, the others depend on her.
The female may remember good feeding places which can replaced by crops in time, and this is how human-elephant conflict emerges. In the end, the elephant always loses.
The text above describes exactly the same way as our brain works (see blog entry “Creasophy – the teachings of creativity“). During the years we have learned ourselves a special way of working. When success is accomplished our brain rewards us for it. After several years we have created our own neural highways to success.
The same is valid for organizational behaviour. When different people are grouped together, a culture arises. This culture is formed from different aspects like country, religion, education, personal and work experience. Every new member that joins the clan will add something to the culture, but in the end a moderate(d) organizational culture is born.
Organizational growth and market changes, amongst others, imply and need organizational changes. But changing the culture is hard. Many books are written about the subject and everybody will go for a ride through the honeymoon cycle (with some of them being aware of it).
A burning platform comes from the oil industry. Platforms on oil rigs in the sea do catch fire sometimes. In these situations there’s no time to check agendas, book a meeting and discuss all options. There is a decision needed. There is change needed. And it is needed now! You can choose for a certain death by fire or for a dive in the ice cold sea.
Your platform can catch fire by accident, eg. an economic crisis, a hostile takeover, a new market entry, changing competitors, … But your platform can also be set on fire. The latter is sometimes needed to create a crisis. To get people moving.
So how did your platform catch fire?
Burning vs rusting platform http://blog.publishingtechnology.com/blogs/burning-platform-boiled-frog-rusting-platform/
More about management and elephants in blog entry “Management and elephants“