Modern Management Parable LO17308 -Humor

Chau Nguyen (
Thu, 5 Mar 1998 14:10:19 -0800

This was forwarded to me by a person in my group. Thought you all may want
to see it as well, the latest management lesson!

>FELIX THE FLYING FROG, a Parable About Modern Management
> Once upon a time, there lived a man named Clarence who had a pet
>frog named Felix. Clarence lived a modestly comfortable existence on
>what he earned working at the Wal-Mart, but he always dreamed of being
>rich. "Felix!" he said one day, hit by sudden inspiration, "We're going
>to be rich! I will teach you to fly!"
> Felix, of course, was terrified at the prospect. "I can't fly, you
>twit! I'm a frog, not a canary!"
> Clarence, disappointed at the initial response, told Felix: "That
>negative attitude of yours could be a real problem. I'm sending you to
>class." So Felix went to a three-day course and learned about problem
>solving, time management, and effective communication -- but nothing
>about flying.
> On the first day of the "flying lessons," Clarence could barely
>control his excitement (and Felix could barely control his bladder).
>Clarence explained that their apartment building had 15 floors, and
>each day Felix would jump out of a window, starting with the first
>floor and eventually getting to the top floor.
> After each jump, Felix would analyze how well he flew, isolate the
>most effective flying techniques, and implement the improved process
>for the next flight. By the time they reached the top floor, Felix
>would surely be able to fly.
> Felix pleaded for his life, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. "He
>just doesn't understand how important this is," thought Clarence. "He
>can't see the big picture."
> So, with that, Clarence opened the window and threw Felix out. He
>landed with a thud.
> The next day, poised for his second flying lesson, Felix again
>begged not to be thrown out of the window. Clarence opened his pocket
>guide to "Managing More Effectively," and showed Felix the part about
>how one must always expect resistance when introducing new, innovative
> With that, he threw Felix out the window -- THUD!
> On the third day (at the third floor), Felix tried a different
>ploy: stalling. He asked for a delay in the "project" until better
>weather would make flying conditions more favorable.
> But Clarence was ready for him: He produced a timeline and pointed
>to the third Milestone and asked. "You don't want to slip up the
>schedule, do you?"
> From his training, Felix knew that not jumping today would only
>mean that he would have to jump TWICE tomorrow. So he just muttered,
>"OK, yeeha, let's go." And out the window he went.
> Now this is not to say that Felix wasn't trying his best. On the
>fifth day he flapped his legs madly in a vain attempt at flying. On
>the sixth day, he tied a small red cape around his neck and tried to
>think "Superman" thoughts.
> It didn't help.
> By the seventh day, Felix, accepting his fate, no longer begged for
>mercy. He simply looked at Clarence and said, "You know you're
>killing me, don't you?"
> Clarence pointed out that Felix's performance so far had been less
>than exemplary, failing to meet any of the milestone goals he had
>set for him. With that, Felix said quietly, "Shut up and open the
>window," and he leaped out, taking careful aim at the large jagged
>rock by the corner of the building.
> And Felix went to that great lily pad in the sky.
> Clarence was extremely upset, as his project had failed to meet a
>single objective that he had set out to accomplish. Felix had not only
>failed to fly, he hadn't even learned to steer his fall as he dropped
>like a sack of cement, nor had he heeded Clarence's advice to "Fall
>smarter, not harder."
> The only thing left for Clarence to do was to analyze the process
>and try to determine where it had gone wrong.
> After much thought, Clarence smiled and said, "Next time, I'm
>getting a smarter frog!"

-- (Chau Nguyen)

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