The trainer started the session by giving everyone a large piece of plain paper from the flip chart. “I want you to draw what it feels like to work here, just a quick sketch, you have ten minutes”. The trainer walked round the room looking at what people were drawing. After a little over ten minutes, due to some special pleading from those who needed longer, everyone was asked to pin their drawings to the walls so the whole group could see each others efforts. One picture stood out because all the person had drawn was a large oval shape which filled the page. People were asked to guess what it depicted. There were lots of puzzled looks and a few wild suggestions.
The “artist’ was asked what it was. “ It’s an elephant’s foot as seen from the ground.” Further explanation was requested. “ Think of a circus act in which people are persuaded to lie on their backs on the ground whilst the elephant trainer guides this massive bull elephant to slowly and carefully step over their prone bodies. Then just for added excitement , at the trainers command , the elephant stops with one very big foot hovering over the head of a very concerned participant. That’s what it feels like to work here.
Blair McPherson former director , author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk