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Metaphors of Business - Articles Metaphors of Business Articles Components Journey of Projects Metaphor and Influence Metaphors of Business An exploration into how the behaviours and nature of business can be revealed by investigating common use of language and metaphor Modern business is a complex invention of man, and is commonly represented using metaphor based upon simpler and more natural concepts. Metaphors of Business examines these metaphorical relationships and investigates how understanding them can open up a whole new world of understanding and empathy in business. Leadership Games and Battles 8/10/2015 Comments Effective business leaders are competent at choosing the right people for the right areas of business, and giving direction to ensure that the teams work toward meeting business goals. The teams will have their ups and downs, their wins and their losses, but a good leader will guide them through it all and keep them motivated to move onto the next challenge. Business is a complex invention of man which is typically explained and understood through the use of metaphor. The metaphoric representations are typically based on more natural and simpler concepts. Typically when describing teams and teamwork, the metaphor tend toward depicting either games or battles. These representations are often born from the role that the leader takes when developing the team, either a coach or a general, or somewhere in-between. Leadership taking one role or the other can create completely different business cultures. You may have worked in a business where the leadership are like coaches and the team are like the players. You're told to keep your eye on the ball, encouraged to gain ground against opponents, and when you're thrown a curve ball you can turn it around and hit it out of the ball park. The leaders will have a game plan which will include tactics of how you play the game of business. Everyone will team together for the common goal of winning the game, utilising the strengths of the players and encouraging and developing those with weaknesses. On the other hand you may have worked somewhere where it feels like the leadership are generals and you're a trooper. In this scenario it is often more a case of doing what you're told, following orders. You'll hear about people gathering ammunition for meetings, the aim being to gain ground against others, and about ideas being shot down. There may be a war room for conquering pressing business conflicts and forming business strategy. The team exists to win battles by following the strategy and taking no prisoners. Businesses which echo these metaphors have a lot in common with regard to teamwork. A game really is a kind of battle with the difference being the intent behind it. A battle is life and death where casualties are expected. Games can get rough, but everyone knows it's a game and casualties are uncommon. Both battles and games are about beating the other team, but games are played for fun, and battles are certainly not. This is worth considering when developing your leadership style. Do you think you'll get more out of your employees if they feel like work is fun, or life and death? Your communication can vividly paint either scenario into the minds of your employees and the culture of the business. Richard Lindesay Comments Metaphors of Comedy 11/13/2014 Comments I have long been a fan of comedy and have often wondered what makes comedy funny. Lately I have noticed a number of metaphor that are used in the comedy industry, and in day to day conversation when people talk about comedy. The main thing I have noticed that many metaphor in comedy are related to some kind of force. The force is created by the comedian, then applied to the audience. The force causes the audience to have an involuntary reaction, and does damage to them. The audience know this and volunteer to be broken. Let's look at this further. Let's start with the comedian. If the comedy is funny, then metaphor used toward comedians tend to be around the delivery of the force. You killed out there You knocked them out You smashed it Your humour is shocking Delivered a punchline When it comes to the audience, the metaphor tend to be around having force applied to them, causing involuntary reactions and having damage inflicted. I wet myself with laughter Laughed so much I cried I fell apart I exploded with laughter They cracked me up Side splitting humour I was in stitches Laughed my head off This got me thinking. If comedy is about audience members going in and voluntarily offering to be broken by the comedian, and the comedian applying a force to do the breaking, what actually is it that's going on? What is the force? And what is the force actually breaking? My take on it is that the audience of a comedy show go along as an escape from the day to day reality of their lives. They take along their everyday sensibilities, beliefs, and perceptions, and in the safety of the comedy show they offer them up to be broken. The comedian has an understanding of the common perceptions that the audience want to have broken, and through their unique viewpoints and attitudes, they apply the appropriate force of words to challenge and break such perceptions. If the comedian tries to break perceptions that the audience doesn't have, the comedy doesn't work. If the comedian chooses perceptions that the audience has, but doesn't apply the appropriate force to break them, the comedy doesn't work. When comedy doesn't work, the audience often get disappointed or angry that their perceptions are left intact. They say that the comedian "died out there". But if the comedian chooses appropriate perceptions, and applies the appropriate amount of force, the audience enjoy having their perceptions broken and have the involuntary reaction of laughing. The comedian "killed". So it's no wonder people revere successful comedians, and that the thought of being a stand-up comedian scares the bejesus out of most people. Imagine it being your job to put yourself in a position where you either kill or get killed, all for the amusement of others! To most people that sounds crazy, but for the comedian it's part of the fun of it. Richard Lindesay Comments The Office Showoff 10/31/2014 Comments Have you ever worked somewhere where everything seems to be a bit of a show? You know the kind of place, where people behave one way in private but when in front of others they put on a mask and it's a whole different story. The show often feels like a chaotic circus where everyone is out there to show off their abilities. At other times it feels like a magic show where trickery is used to mislead and bamboozle. More elaborate shows require a dress rehearsal beforehand where those involved run through their different parts to check that they are singing from the same hymn sheet and to avoid showstoppers. If all goes well then there'll be much merriment and congratulations such as "good show! Well...