Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Incomplete Little Prince

Guest blogger Ken Cameron, from Corporate CultureSHIFT, gives his thoughts on Dynamic Incompleteness. 
There's a wonderful metaphor in Theatre Calgary's world premiere production of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince.
 The Pilot, who has crashed in the Sahara desert, is accosted by The Little Prince from outer space. The Prince insists that the pilot draw him a sheep.
 But every time The Little Prince is always dissatisfied with The Pilot's poor attempt at sheep-drawing. The Pilot's sheeps are either too old, too young, or otherwise not to The Prince's unspoken specifications.
 The Prince is not able to define what he wants, but he is certainly capable of saying what he DOESN'T want
Finally, in frustration, The Pilot draws a square and says "the sheep you're looking for is inside that box".
 The Little Prince is thrilled! He finally has the sheep he has the drawing of a sheep that he has always desired! He spends a lot of time from then on telling the pilot what the sheep is doing inside the box.
This is an example of what business writer Chris McGoff calls "dynamic incompleteness".

"Great leaders bring just enough vision to move and inspire people. They present their vision and invite others to contribute their ideas to fill in the gaps."

The next time you're bringing an idea forward to your team, be sure not to overthink it.
 Be sure not to fill in all the gaps.
 Leave room for your audience to use their own imagination.
 Allow them to see room for themselves in your vision.

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