In 2010, I saw a picture of a city worker that was responsible for painting white fog lines along the side of a rural picturesque tree laden country road. In this picture, a tree had fallen down and the top branch was clearly in the path of where the worker needed to paint his white stripe. Rather than move the tree, the worker decided to just paint clumsily around and over the tree, clearly derelict in his responsibility to take ownership of the effort and just move the tree before continuing to do the job he was there to do.
He was in the business of painting lines, not moving trees.
Since that time, I have used that example to illustrate similar activities that I see in business. This observation is particularly acute in organizations that have embarked in deep and systemic transformation initiatives whilst trying to completely reimagine…
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