Regional Bank Manager Chicken Little likes to walk in the hallways. She likes to look out the windows at the moderate-sized city below. She likes to smell the dust of expansion. She likes the fact that her bank is big enough to contend but small enough that she knows all the leaders. One day while she is walking the hallways she sees a newscaster on MSNBC that says more home foreclosures are coming and that more Regional banks are going to fall. She feels like the newscaster was talking straight to her.
” My, oh, my, the bank is falling. I must run and tell the CEO about it,” says Regional Bank Manager Chicken Little and she begins to run. She runs and runs. By and by she meets Controlling Cathy, the staff leader who is proud of her ability to stall new initiatives by taking them under her responsibility hat and then dragging her feet until they die a slow death.
“Where are you going?” asks Controlling Cathy.
“Oh, Controlling Cathy, foreclosures are increasing and our bank is falling and I am going to the CEO to tell him about it.”
“How do you know it?” asks Controlling Cathy.
“It was said directly to me, so I know it must be so,” says Regional Bank Manager Chicken Little.
“Let me go with you!” says Controlling Cathy. ” Run, run.” Controlling Cathy pulls out her organizational chart and figures out how she can make sure this issue falls under her purview. She already knows which staff members she wants to run the “slow all new initiatives to save our company” committee.
So the two run and run until they meet Analytics Andy, the guy who doesn’t trust an idea unless at least one-hundred spreadsheets and users prove that the idea will work. He loves working for Controlling Cathy – they have slowed many visionary service, sales, and technology initiatives with their spreadsheets. Both of them understand that the only way to succeed is to be sure nothing new takes them by surprise. Not long ago they stopped a customer-centric technology focus because there weren’t enough spreadsheets to prove it worked. They were proud of that stop. In fact, their Regional Bank had done nothing new in at least ten years.
“The bank is falling,” says Controlling Cathy. “We are going to the CEO to tell him about it.”
“How do you know that?” asks Analytics Andy.
“The newscaster said it directly to Chicken Little,” says Controlling Cathy.
“May I come with you?” asks Analytics Andy.
“Come,” says Controlling Cathy. Analytics Andy grabs his phone and calls the leader of the new client experience initiative to tell him it’s cancelled.
So, all three of them run on and on until they meet Merger Mike.
“Where are you going?” asks Merger Mike.
“The bank is falling and we are going to the CEO to tell him about it,” says Analytics Andy. “He’s in an important meeting.”
“Do you know where his meeting is?” asks Merger Mike.
“I don’t,” says Regional Bank Manager Chicken Little.
“I don’t,” says Controlling Cathy.
“I don’t,” says Analytics Andy. ” I do,” says Merger Mike. “Come with me and I can show you the way.”
He walks on and on until he comes to the floor where his big bank resides. It is a land of cubicles filled with staff handling due diligence issues.
“Come right in,” says Merger Mike.
They all go in, but they never, never come out again.