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Finding Crumble

We recently visited my niece, Lindsay who was hosting a family night of board games.

We all know her four year old son, Arran, needs to be asleep before the board games begin so while Lindsay was upstairs seeing to that, the rest of us were chilling and chatting.

Suddenly, over the banister came the quiet words, “We’ve lost Crumble!” Although her words were calm, not to alert Arran, Lindsay knew the real message would be heard.

We all looked at each other amidst our sharp intake of breath and immediately were all on our feet – dispersing to different areas of the house.

Searching, searching for Crumble.

“When did you last see Crumble?”

“He was watching us play cards at lunch time”

“Was he at the beach when we were flying the kite?”

“I don’t think so”

“Oh I do hope he’s in the house”

There was a flurry of activity, cushions were being turned over, toys moved around and there was an ever so slight tension in the air.

You see, Crumble isn’t just a teddy bear. He has rarely been separated from Arran since birth. Everywhere Arran goes, Crumble goes too.

We all knew that Crumble had to be found before our deadline of the story finishing – when Arran would discover he was lost. And no one wanted the lost toy scenario to happen, none of us wanted to deal with that situation. What we all wanted was to see Arran settled down for the night, happy and calm, with Crumble.

Time, we all knew, was running out.

“Here he is!”

The three little words we all wanted to hear.

“Thank goodness for that”

The tension turned to relief, as Crumble was escorted upstairs leaving the rest of us free to sit back down and continue with our chat.

After a short while my son said, “Do you realise what just happened there?”

“What?”

 “Everyone instantly appreciated the severity of the situation”

There continued a wee conversation around the life of Crumble, however my mind meandered into a work situation. How can we inspire, organise and motivate ourselves, our teams and our work with the purpose and urgency of finding Crumble?

Business, or life with a strong sense of common purpose, “with Crumble”, doesn’t need that organisation – it just happens – there was an unspoken sense of urgency that spurred us to ‘just do it’ with no need to be told and I know we would not have stopped until he was discovered.

No-one needed to be asked to find Crumble, no-one needed to be told where to go and look, no-one needed reminding of the importance of Crumble – the situation, for us, was a very serious one indeed. Arran would be distraught without Crumble which would greatly upset us all. In an instant, we were self organised, motivated and achieved in seconds what could have taken a lot longer without the ‘instant appreciation of the severity of the situation’, not just for Arran but dare I say for the impact a crying child would have had on our family games night.

Have a think about how your business would react to a threatening situation!

Would you all move instinctively to counter and remove the threat, or would everyone have to be organised and directed?

And when you need to talk to someone about your strength of purpose and team motivation, you know who to call!

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