Analogies

Sitting here studying some statistics – I’m sorry, “quantitative analysis” – listening to and watching a Joe Satriani DVD: Live in San Francisco (2001). I love just listening to his music, and enjoy watching him and his band play even more.

Part of my fascination, especially as an amateur piano player, is watching the ease with they play even the most difficult pieces. It is as if their fingers, hands, indeed their whole bodies just know what to do. Of course, my point is exactly that: through extensive training, practice, repetition, and learning from mistakes, the body basically goes on autopilot.

This is not to take away from the performance. Not at all. You can still see the concentration it takes, especially on the difficult ones (they all look difficult to me, but that is beside the point), but it is a comfortable concentration. They are having a hell of a lot of fun, and you can tell.

As you’ve probably figured, this is leading up to some sort of analogy with organizational knowledge. Imagine for a moment that you are a CEO or some other executive, and you want to get your organization to some goal. Maybe through a little trial and error (simulation?) you come up with the goal (write the song), then you get the message out to the workforce and keep driving it home so everyone knows what you are looking for (practicing the song), then you are ready for the real world (performance).

This is obviously a very simplified analogy, and of course your workforce will likely have more of an opinion about what you are trying to do than your hands and fingers would. In many ways, though, the analogy works and there are many similar analogies you could use (for example, the training of an elite athlete).

I’m sure we’ll get into more of those later….

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