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katehaney

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05:44 am: the right metaphor?
I woke up around 4:00 because I may have found it.

The metaphor.

See, I've been working on The Huge Project for over 2 years, and there's a lot of push-back from the organization. It means change. BIG change for some people, smaller changes for others, but change for everyone. And change is hard and blah blah blah.

(One of my company's standard offerings is "Leading Change," so we know whereof we speak. Doesn't mean we do change any better than other people, just that we know a lot about it and we do eat our own dogfood, sometimes.)

So here's a slightly edited version of an email I wrote my boss this morning ('cause I can plagiarize myself as much as I want, right? I know people on the speakers' circuit who've been doing it for years, after all):

It occurs to me that one way we could think about/explain [Big Project] is magic. (I’ve been using a mise en place metaphor, which is not all that effective, though it’s more true.)

Teller wrote a piece recently on magic and neuroscience, here.
And here he is on NPR.

One of the things he writes and talks about that surprised me (in a Columbus’ Egg kind o’ way) was that magic works because magicians go through more work to make it happen than people understand (or believe). I don’t remember if it’s in one of the sources above (which I just googled but didn’t re-read), but he uses an example of a trick that used cockroaches, where he and Penn spent months learning to handle them and finding a special, slow-moving breed of bug, for a trick that took minutes on stage.

For magicians, training with cockroaches for months is worth it to awe an audience.
For us, doing [Big Project] for months is worth it to make our lives easier, our costs lower, and our future brighter (all of which I fully believe, even the schmaltzy bit).

Or something like that.

I suppose there are lots of analogies for “doing lots of work now for payoff later,” but this is the one that struck me this morning. And I suppose part of why I like it is because I do think there’s something sort of magical about what we can do, and cooking feels more mundane than magic.

I also like it because part of me is still a bit hung up on wanting people to appreciate the work it takes to wrangle freakin’ cockroaches.


The problem with 4:00 am inspirations, of course, is I don't really know right away if I'm brilliant or just groggy.

Current Location: Longmeadow
Current Mood: goodgood
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Comments

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From:swingchickie
Date:March 30th, 2012 10:34 am (UTC)
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you're brilliant. i love that analogy!!!! *applause*
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From:katehaney
Date:March 30th, 2012 11:25 pm (UTC)

:curtsy:

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Why thank you!
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From:occhi_cinesi
Date:March 30th, 2012 11:24 am (UTC)

Love it!

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(I've got baby on the brain so...)

It's like being 40 and trying to get pregnant: months of preparation for something that, if everything is working exactly right, conception happens in like, 15 seconds.

Total Magic.

Love it! I love 4am epiphanies!
[User Picture]
From:katehaney
Date:March 30th, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)

baby brain!

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Happens in 15 seconds, but the results last FOREVER. w00t!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 30th, 2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
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I think you're brilliant, of course, because I'm your mother and I'm supposed to. And I love the metaphor!

YoMaMa
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From:katehaney
Date:March 30th, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)

thanks, Mum!

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:)
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From:katehaney
Date:March 30th, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC)

oh, and it must be genetic

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OF COURSE.
From:derbyhat
Date:April 3rd, 2012 01:21 am (UTC)
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I think it's magic that you're training the folks at Forum to work with slow moving cockroaches. Of course, in case that wasn't your point, bravo on the metaphor!

:)
[User Picture]
From:katehaney
Date:April 3rd, 2012 12:14 pm (UTC)

er... thanks?

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No cockroaches, real or metaphorical. Trying to get D&D to change their long-standing traditions? METAPHOR FOR LARGE, LUMBERING, UNMOVING THING.
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