Shawshank Prison and the art of leading change: Part II

The hallmark of a great movie script is the transformation of its lead character. Thus, in a voice as mellow as aged bourbon, Morgan Freeman lifts the veil on Shawshank Prison inmate Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding: “There must be a con like me in every prison in America. I'm the guy who can get it for you...” These words, at least for the film’s first 60 minutes, epitomise Red. A hustler, a fixer, an opportunist. A man who might have Shawshank sussed but who is slowly atrophying nonetheless. It’s a far cry from the Red we see 19 years later as he heads for Mexico to rendezvous with his friend Andy: “I find I’m so excited...the excitement only a free man can feel...I hope to see my friend...I h

Shawshank Prison and the art of leading change...

Could the greatest movie of all time hold the keys to inciting and leading your next change project? In 1994, The Shawshank Redemption was a box office flop. Despite seven Academy Award nominations that year, the creators walked away from Oscar Night empty-handed. 24 years later, Frank Darabont’s uplifting prison drama gets the popular vote as one of the greatest movies of all time. For more than two decades it has dominated IMDB’s prestigious “Top Ten” list, trading places now and then with The Godfather. I first watched “Shawshank” on a Friday evening after a particularly bad week in another kind of prison, to wit, my place of work. After the film ended, I walked the empty halls of the

The beautiful art of Metaphor

“Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space” - Anon TED’s Chris Anderson likens the communication of complex ideas to assembling a ship inside a bottle. First the craftsman must be intimately familiar with the component parts. Next he must place them into the bottle in the correct order - piece by logical piece, layer by logical layer. Finally, he must fuse the pieces until they resemble the ship he had in mind in the first place. Any break in the logic, any piece missing or a failure to fuse one layer to the next, and the project is doomed. But ideas are not ships and their transmission far from mechanical. Unpacking complexity calls for the artful blend of logic,

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