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A Paradigm Parable Frank A. Prince
C went to school and learned the shape of a box.
After years in school, C honed and refined the shape of the box and was quite certain about it.
C graduated from school and started a career.
C discovered that the new job had an invisible box. Through trial and error though, C found all of the sides and knew what was in and what was out. Yes In Out No
C was proud. IN OUT
All of C’s time at work was spent in the box.
It was comfortable inside the box.
C was good at the work to be done inside the box as long as it didn’t change.
C could do everything inside the box without much thought.
C could do it with closed eyes.
C could do it without thinking.
C got bored…..
C knew every inch of the box. But one day C found a dusty old spring.
It had a tag on it that said it was part of C’s box. Part # Owner: C Location: Box 5-1 #
C had not needed the spring before and could do everything without it.
C tried to throw it out, but the sides of the box were too high.
C wondered how the walls had become so high and realized that extended use of the box caused deep ruts to form along the borders.
The ruts were so deep that C couldn’t see outside of the box.
C had even forgotten that there was an outside to the box.
C threw the spring into the corner but kept running into it.
C became intrigued by the spring.
C’s mind kept wandering back to the spring, since C’s job could be done without thinking hard.
C thought, “How might I use the spring?”…But the spring just sat there and did nothing. ?
One day out of frustration and boredom, C threw the spring.
Then C kicked it.
Finally, C jumped on the spring.
And it sprang C right out of the box!
C got scared and quickly jumped back into the box.
But C landed on the spring, and it bounced C out the other side!
Except this time it was fun!
So C tried it again.
It was lots of fun!
As the days passed by, C was able to work in and out of the box whenever C wanted.
C even got comfortable being outside of the box.
C felt like a child again.
The other workers did not know about C’s spring. Everyone just thought C was different than them.
They thought C was born that way. It was easy for C to be creative; they were not creative.
They knew C was always coming up with new and different ways to do work and to have fun. C’s box seemed to be getting bigger and bigger.
C told co-workers about the special spring and suggested that their boxes might have one too.
They searched and found that they all had a special spring in their boxes.
Many of them remembered using a spring when they were children, but they had forgotten how fun it was and how to use it.
Before long, they were all working in and out of their boxes.
Boxes were growing and eventually everyone was enjoying their work. They even started working together.
C became the hero of the company.
C reflected back on how such an environment was created.
It was simple. All C had done was to give them something they already had.
We are all born with this spring, but we use it less and less as we search to define the box.
One day, while contentedly polishing the spring, C wondered….
How might we keep from losing such a valuable tool as our spring as we grow up?
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