Chickens, Teaching, Honesty, Thinking and Innovation – a story

An acquaintance who is always sharing stories and jokes sent me a good one. And the more I thought about it, the more convinced I am that it would be a good one to use in a leadership development training session.

Guess my thinking is grounded in the work I am doing around Strategy Implementation and how it is not the strategy but its execution and engagement of everyone in the organization to commit to doing things differently. It is not always easy and people think differently about things, which would appear to be problematic on the surface, but something that is critical for implementation success based on all sorts of research.

Anyway, the story goes like this:

My Favorite Animal

 Our teacher asked what my favorite animal was, and I said, “fried chicken.”

 She said I wasn’t funny, but she couldn’t have been right, because everyone else laughed. My parents told me to always tell the truth. I did. Fried chicken is my favorite animal. I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA. He said they love animals very much. I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef. Anyway, my teacher sent me to the Principal’s office.

 I told him what happened, and he laughed, too. Then he told me not to do it again.

 The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal was. I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, so I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken. She sent me back to the Principal’s office. He laughed, and told me not to do it again.

 I don’t understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn’t like it when I am.

 Today, my teacher asked me to tell her what famous person I admired most, I told her Col. Sanders.

 Guess where I am now…

I thought that the story was cute. Did you? I definately took the position of the student, but then realized that there were other positions and other principles working here…

I thought of the different viewpoints of the student, the teacher, the parents and the principal and how it related to their thinking about what is important and meaningful. Each would of course have different ideas about what should happen around the situation.

Is anyone wrong in their reactions? What do the differences in roles make in how the information is processed? What is the real desired outcome of the whole activity, and then frame up the whole activity from the positions of the different parties.

Think about how this all relates to people working in organizations who are being asked about improving customer service or implementing a new way of getting things done or who are trying to innovate or develop new products. By nature, everyone takes different posittions based on their roles and how they perceive they are to influence and impact that student.

Which role do YOU take in educating others? I LOVE fried chicken, but so very seldom eat it. Do doughnuts have legs?

Have FUN out there!

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