The power and limitation of leadership and organisational metaphors

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The power and limitation of leadership and organisational metaphors

  1. 1. The Power and Limitation of Leadership and Organisational Metaphors Olaojo Aiyegbayo
  2. 2. Man as a storytelling animal
  3. 3. “We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” Jonathan Gottschall
  4. 4. Steve Denning
  5. 5. Metaphors
  6. 6. What is a metaphor? ?
  7. 7. “A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.” Oxford Dictionary
  8. 8. Book’s Main Premise
  9. 9. Metaphors are powerful because …….
  10. 10. Metaphors Perception Action
  11. 11. Morgan’s Organisational Metaphors • • • • • • Organisations as Machines Organisations as Organisms Organisations as Brains Organisations as Cultures Organisations as Political Systems Organisations as Psychic Prisons
  12. 12. Metaphorical Stem Activity 1 “My organisation is (like) ………………… because …………” Complete with a metaphor that best describes your current organisation.
  13. 13. Organisational Metaphors: Sources • • • • • • • • • Military Metaphors Sports Metaphors Religious Metaphors Musical Metaphors Family Metaphors Biological metaphors Ecological Metaphors Cooking Metaphors Medical Metaphors
  14. 14. Metaphorical Stem Activity 2 “ Leadership is (like) ………………… because …………”
  15. 15. Common Leadership Metaphors • • • • • Leaders as Conductors Leaders as Coaches Leaders as Doctors Leaders as Servants Leaders as Warriors
  16. 16. The Limitation of Metaphors Partiality of Insight
  17. 17. “The blind men and the elephant” by John Godfrey Saxe
  18. 18. Six Blind Men of Indostan • • • • • • Elephant is very like a wall Elephant is very like a spear Elephant is very like a snake Elephant is very like a tree Elephant is very like a fan Elephant is very like a rope
  19. 19. “And so these men of Indostan Disputed loud and long, Each in his own opinion Exceeding stiff and strong, Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong!” John Godfrey Saxe
  20. 20. “Any given metaphor can be incredibly persuasive, but it can also be blinding and block our ability to gain overall view.” Gareth Morgan
  21. 21. Image Attribution • • • • • • • • • Storytelling: http://goo.gl/b4os37 Storytelling animal cover: http://goo.gl/4ZReTF Steve Denning: http://goo.gl/tWlQYf Magnifying glass: http://goo.gl/6s58QN Moses: http://goo.gl/u0Ulu0 Milk and Honey: http://goo.gl/MUiGmw Metaphors we live by: http://goo.gl/vKTRwx Images of Organization: http://goo.gl/As5rWm Elephant: http://goo.gl/HLrV7m

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