Image by jo-h via Flickr
Yesterday I watched Gordon Ramsey while he was trying to change a restaurant in Brighton that wasn't doing well. I'm not that much interested in cooking, but I like watching him as a change facilitator. He works very much as an external expert- he's not the type of relax and see what happens... I think this works in his case because he is a well-respected cook-advisor. (for many other advisors who are not that famous it may not work!).
He had a very strong intervention explaining the financial situation using a cake metaphor. He took all ingredients and called them the various costs- personnel costs etc. Then he backed two cakes: one with balanced ingredients and one with unbalanced ingredients. He actually backed both cakes and showed it to the restaurant owner. Saying that she needs to balance the costs like you have to balance the cake ingredients. Though a simple metaphor- it actually made her cry because it was so true.
Lesson on metaphors: they can be very strong if used well and recognised by the problemowner.
I read another nice metaphor that I often use for myself in my head about social media. I read it in the guest blog by Hilde Gottlieb on Beth's blog. I'm quoting it here:
"I am thinking about getting a phone. Who should I call? What should I say to them? How long before the phone will help us reach our goals?"
Sounds silly, of course - but that is really what we are asking when we ask, “What should I talk about on Twitter or Facebook or MySpace?”
Any strong metaphors you often use?