The dog in the playground


At some point in every schoolchild’s life a random dog appears in the playground outside their classroom.

The reaction is invariably the same. The children run to the windows, pressing their noses to the glass, desperate to see what the dog will do next, jealous of its freedom, inspired by its apparent disregard for the rules.

Yet, the dog is lost, running around, trapped within the the constraints of an educational establishment seemingly oblivious to the disruption it causes.The independent thinker

A brief period of chaos ensues. The educated authoritarian desperately trying to restore order to their class, whilst a being with an IQ equivalent of a two year old child better captures everyone’s imagination.

I have heard a lot over the last few years about the importance of bringing disruptive people into an organisation to “shake things up a bit”. I have been presented with such people, introduced as (pseudo) spokespersons for their organisation. I remember one in particular who “worked” at the time for Sun Microsystems (now defunct). He was great fun to talk to, full of passion and wild ideas (none of which ever came to fruition). He escaped in the end.

So why employ the unemployable – the independent thinker? Because they are challenging, unpredictable and memorable. They might be a pain in the backside to work with, always leaving someone else to clean up their crap. However, to everyone else they bring a sense of fun, a fascination with what they will do next, they gain followers. They are the dog in the playground.

Nobody remembers an average day at school, but everyone remembers the time a dog snuck in caused disruption.

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