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Playing follow the leader in the city

lemmings.JPGIn the centre of Melbourne on Friday I saw the most bizarre thing – the group of business people in the photo and a similar sized group on the other side of the Collins Street intersection formed into two columns and put on blind folds. There were a couple of people on the side without blindfolds directing the ‘troops’. While it looked like follow the leader training, I suspect it was part of a bigger program built around team or trust building.

Seeing this reminded me of school, which was decades ago, where considerable emphasis was placed on conforming. In this process, creativity was stifled.

At Tower Systems we encourage an open and respectful environment, one where individuals can be themselves. The only conforming I seek is a commitment to doing the best for our customers. How this is achieved and how an individual comes across in doing this is up to the individual.

The freedom we encourage and that which many small businesses encourage compared to corporate businesses results in greater flexibility and better customer service. This is where smaller independent software companies have it over others.

I have no interest in blindfolding the team and playing follow the leader down the streets of Melbourne. Maybe I am missing something – what I saw does not make sense.


  1. Mark,

    What you actually saw was a dress rehearsal for the next ANF conference – one column of ANF/VANA executives & directors and another column of suppliers who have been conned, yet again, into dodgy “partnerships” with the ANF. There was to have been a third column made up of the total anticipated membership of both organisations at the time of the conference but as this is expected to be zero, no column was required.
    The two without blindfolds are actually Seaworld trainers (who are used to training unthinking animals to comply and blindly follow orders) who have been recruited to marshall the remnants of both organisations.
    The rehearsal has been held in Collins Street as the next conference will be held around the fountain in the plaza of the ANZ towers and is expected to last less than 45 minutes following a keynote address by Bozo the Clown.
    Following another wildly successful conference, drinks will be in a booth at the Sofitel.

    C U there!

  2. Jim,

    I read your comment and rolled around the floor for ten minutes laughing!


  3. Jim, that was GOLD!!!

    I’ll see you there, if I get the fax before the event.

  4. Here here. Hilarious Jim.

  5. Mark,

    It’s almost sad to see companies doing ‘team building’ exercises like this. That kind of text-book HR development is reflective of a highly uncreative corporate Australia.

    One only has to look at the likes of Google and other companies that take a modern approach to HR to see the benefits of a less conformative work environment.

    I dare say Australia’s lack of efficiency in business is reflective of the out-dated HR concepts being employed and, as you say, the stifling of creativity that results.

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