Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Mighty Ducks, “Loon”-y Tunes and Canadian Geese

Long before the folks at Disney brought us the cinematic hockey franchise, I have had a general fondness for waterfowl. I had a pet duck when I was in high school; I like Canadian geese; I know I stand alone or at least in a very small group, in my appreciation of them and my admiration of their beauty. 

Here is what I like about them. The flock sticks together. Have you seen them in the spring and early summer raising their young communally? The adults arrange themselves on the perimeter and keep the babies together in relative safety. One or two adults stand as sentries while the rest of the geese feed. The sentries raise an alarm in the event of danger. Sadly, if you are the danger; you could wind up chased several yards by angry geese until the flock is safe. Being chased by geese is not fun!

When flocks of Canadian geese fly in their famous vee formation it actually serves to improve aerodynamics for the entire flock and eases migration. The lead animal breaks the wind resistance like the leader of the peloton in a bicycle race. When the leader tires and the pace slows, a new leader emerges and takes the lead place to the benefit of the entire group.

Waterfowl are loyal. Loons, Canadian geese and Mallards mate for life. They form bonds and stick together through difficult times. I once saw a Mallard drake mourn the loss of his mate, she had been killed by a car and he sat by her body for days before abandoning her. I admire that kind of loyalty.

So I guess the question is, do you have a strong flock mentality in your organization? Is there loyalty and camaraderie among your “corporate species?” Do you use the strengths of the group to complete the required tasks? Would your organization benefit from following the ways of the goose?

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