Law #10: Dividing an Elephant in Half does not Produce Two Small Elephants

What would happen when you dividide an elephant in half?

Dividing an elephant in half does not produce two small elephants. What happens instead? It creates one very dead and messy elephant.

Living systems have integrity. Their character depends on the whole; to understand the most challenging managerial issues requires seeing the whole system that generates the issues.

Yet, when an organization deals with issues, what does it do? Divides the responsibility of dealing with the problem by the role or function that you hold. Training. HR. Operations. Marketing. Finance. And so on.

This often leads to suboptimal decisions, repeated tasks, lost time and energy, and maybe even losing customers.

Notice what happens in the case of the urgent file case study, had we not paid attention to the leverage action step. How much would it have cost the organization to reverse the effects of the issue, generated by the whole?