Similar but Different

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking. George S. Patton

I was just pondering about my last post about birds and swooping and teams and flight and so many things, prompted by a glance out at the birds in the snow! One of the great things about those flocks of birds is that they appear the same on first glance, but they really aren’t. Look at the pigeons, for example,  in your local town – pigeons: birds, lots of them, wings, legs, feathers, tiny bright eyes and puffy chests. But all different. And all after your sandwiches if you eat in the Square…….

I have experienced the most joyful and gripping team meetings in recent months in one workplace, with a team made up of inexperience, experience, energy, calm, noise and quiet, naivety and worldliness, enthusiasm and doggedness. These meetings have become longer to accommodate more happening, and the danger was always that they would dry up. No fear!!! The sheer vibrancy created by the wonderful mix of talents and experiences in the group has seen to that. It makes me value all over again the diversity we have to draw on – like those lovely birds swooping and diving together. I can’t help reflecting again that  the values and principles we use to improve our services and our lives are not unique – they have their roots in human nature and natural science – not rocket science. There is very little in our lives that will not be improved with reference to nature, and that doesn’t exclude our professional lives. In this group it is their enthusiasm and adaptability, among other things, that has led to a massive upward swing in performance and outcomes, reputation and credibility. And that didn’t happen by accident – it is the result of people working together as one cohesive group respecting each others very different talents and characters – like the birds. Like any great group.

George S Patton had it about right: it’s when we all seem to think the same that we should worry – that level of cohesion spells trouble and stagnation! Glorious diversity is what makes us great.

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