Why geese honk

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Our Accelerated Solutions Events (ASEvents) are often brought to life by a theme or an analogy.

For example, we ran an ASEvent recently which had a message of the importance of collaboration between two partners. For this, we chose a theme of alloys to highlight how two elements coming together can have qualities greater than the sum of their parts.

Another recent ASEvent about improving sales was supported by a big cats theme to encourage the hunter mentality.

However, one theme earlier this month which really caught my attention was that of geese!

As a gaggle on land and a flock in the air, geese are usually found as a collective. This event was about creating high performing teams and geese demonstrate many of the values which a successful team would do well to emulate:

  • They fly in a “V” formation. This gives over 70% greater flying range than if they were to fly alone. So we can instantly see the value of deciding and sticking to a common path with aligned timing.
  • The lead goose rotates. Flying at the front of the formation is tiring so, frequently the lead goose will drop to the back and let all of the others take a turn so they can rest before returning to the front. This shows the need to share workloads and delegate in a fair and transparent manner.
  • They honk! I love the sound of honking geese flying over in the evening and was delighted to hear that, of course, there is a reason behind this. Flocks of geese honk to encourage each other. One of the advantages of being in a team should be that members don’t feel alone and have the support of the group. However, without communication, people can easily begin to feel lost in the crowd. The number one reason employees leave a job is lack of recognition. It would seem that, through their honking, geese are much better at this than most humans!

Find a common theme. Make it uncommon!

Using themes can be really powerful as they allow participants to view problems from a different perspective and perhaps address topics, such as employee recognition, which would have otherwise been brushed over. A theme also makes an event, and the points which come out of it, very memorable as there is an image or story from which all the ideas can hang and thus be easily recalled.

So, next time you hear a flock of geese overhead, pause for a moment to marvel at such a great example of collaboration.

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