Swiftly used and seldom understood business metaphors

My literature review is continuing at a good pace. I have started to think about all the swifty used and seldom understood business metaphors. Hot topics tend to pop up in the world of business. Problem solving in the business world should not be thought of as a game of whack-a-mole. Workplaces are full of real people striving to succeed in the face of very real problems. Successful leaders evaluate the impact of solutions on the workforce and workplace. Leaders sometimes go to the business theory grab bag of the moment. Some of the solutions of the moment from the grab bag involve metaphors or catchphrases. Like a bad game of telephone the meaning of those metaphors deteriorates over time. Problems keep popping up. Leaders will keep trying to solve them. It is inevitable that metaphors and problem solving technique will keep getting recycled.

Within the business world the burning platform remains a swiftly used and seldom understand metaphor of destruction. Complexity theory has sprung forward to answer questions about efficient problem solving. Creating or building up a burning platform hardly seems like an efficient method for problem solving. It would be easier and more efficient for leaders to use information to engage in informed decision making. Leaders have more sources of information available today. We are generating more and more information. Data scientist and other types of highly analytic data driven roles have sprouted up everywhere in the business world. Even with the rise of more information about decisions generalizing a theory requires a lot of academic effort. It is not something that should be taken lightly. Proving a special theory is generally the path taken before attempting any generalization.

Without question technology has driven disruptive innovation for a long time. The automobile disrupted the horse and buggy. Today that automobile with a combustion engine is being disrupted by electric batteries. That type of disruptive change cannot be directly generalized to workplace leadership. Intellectually a lot of internal linkages exist between understanding disruptive innovation in the technology sector and leading workplace change.

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