Across bestselling textbooks, keynote speeches and online image banks, Strategy is commonly compared to mountaineering. In this — the third article in my series re-examining metaphors in business — I’m going to argue that enacting successful strategies is like climbing a mountain, only in ways I’d never before appreciated or understood.
In the past, I’ve been sceptical of the idea that strategic transformations are like climbing a mountain, especially when progress is shown as a straight climb from the base to the summit.
In the second of this three-part series rethinking commonly used metaphors, I’m going to examine the phrase ‘low-hanging fruit’. Used to describe doing the simplest, easiest thing first, the metaphor conjures an image of paradise; of abundant and delicious food that can be plucked and eaten without breaking stride. In modern business speak, the power of the phrase has been reinforced by such techniques as the ‘Impact/Effort Matrix’, which helps guide decision-makers towards ‘Quick Wins’.
Across this three-part series, I’m going to re-examine some of the metaphors most commonly used in business and management, to see if they’re still useful. If they are, I’ll outline how and why, and if they’re not then I’ll try and find better alternatives.
The first metaphor — ‘data is the new oil’ — is one that in my option should be used with caution, especially by those who wish to portray data in a positive light. That is, whilst there are many similarities between data and oil, most are unflattering. …
Based in Manchester, I'm interested in trying to shed new light on old problems, and in the process, prove myself wrong.