Did you hear the one about the elephant?

It's a very old story. Three blind people are each holding part of an elephant. One has the tail. Another has a leg. The third has the trunk. Each is describing the elephant very accurately and very differently. Each knows a part of the elephant very well. But if they ever hope to understand the whole elephant they will have to listen carefully to each other. They may need to move around the elephant or find more people to touch it. If they hope to move the elephant to a new location, they will need each person to be able and willing to act directly on their part of the elephant. They may also need people who know the jungle they will be traveling through.


Whether you work in business, government or a non-profit setting, it's a jungle out there. Some jungles are bigger or smaller. Some elephants are bigger or smaller. Some jungles contain all the resources we need to thrive. Some don't. Most jungles have life forms in them which we can dominate and life forms which can dominate us. Most of the ferocious beasts will leave us alone if we treat them with respect.

 Healthy jungles create and maintain balance, focus and community. They are characterized by appropriate interdependence, control and accountability.