Goldfish moments and how to avoid them?


Two young gold fish were swimming along and they met an older fish, who said  “Morning, boys.  How’s the water?” One of the young gold fish looks over at the other and said “What the hell is water?”  goldfish-animal-myths

This was a story shared by the late, great David Foster Wallace, a brilliant American writer.  Wallace said the point of the fish story is that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about.

That is why the new kid on the block, has the bright ideas, or new recruits see so much opportunity for change or innovation.  So how do we in our daily environments make the invisible (water) visible?

  1. Get a mentor or a coach who can see what you can’t see
  2. Run your business issue past a friend or trusted advisor from a completely different industry.  If you are a scientist, ask an artist’s opinion.  If you are an economist, work with a poet.  Get someone who has a completely different perspective and discipline to you
  3. Cultivate the mavericks in your organisations, the rebels and the people who always play devil’s advocate – remember they can see the water, where most people can’t.  So no matter how irritating they might be, they have a valuable view point to contribute.

What are your strategies for seeing the water?  Please comment I love hearing from you.

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5 Comments
  • Elouise
    Reply

    Great story. Brought home the point to me again of why I’m always seeking mentors. Very much forward to our workshop with you this week!

  • Sundar Rajamanickam
    Reply

    In my projects, I always keep a goal to make atleast one big change in the way we worked and delivered. I try to do this on every project and it kind of keeps my team encouraged and motivated when they have accomplised something much easily by thinking different. It is kind of ‘breaking the rules’ within the given framework and yet reaching the goals with higher success and satisfaction.

  • Ruth Rozario
    Reply

    What a great blog? A deep message yet so simply articulated. Thank you for your views.

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Many thanks Ruth for your comment and support. Much appreciated.
      Now if I can only follow my own advice:)
      Best wishes
      Yamini

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