Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sipping from the brimming rabbit

Yesterday I ran into the legendary Leonard Stoat, author of the niche change management tome: Morphing Infrastructure Paradigms for the Post-Restructuralist Generation, and he agreed to join me for a mochalattecino at Tully's downtown.

Leonard became affectionately known as The Stoat (hardly a giant leap) through his pioneering cut-throat policy of incisive disintermediation. Despite this reputation for unleashing impactful schemas, The Stoat has since orchestrated and, indeed, monetized a string of more collaborative supply-chain infrastructures.

I recalled, after our brief interview, R. S. Thomas' metaphor of the stoat "sipping from the brimming rabbit", a rumination on the cruelty of nature where the rabbit is viewed simply as a vessel of blood, the spoils of aggression on offer to the stoat.

I got to thinking: does this metaphor describe in any way the key attributes of modern business leadership?

Perhaps our recontextualization of business relationships, operation models and frictionless enterprises, both in terms of architectures and the language that describes them, has merely diluted the vessel contents into a plasma cordial.

Or perhaps we should congratulate ourselves that, also through the aggregation of layers of wireless-linked social communities, modern leaders have enabled us to empower organizational change from the bottom up, helped teams focalize themselves on their meta-priorities, and provided one and all the chance to sip from the grail. 


  1. In my opinion Stoat merely evolved ideas on supply chain management that had been in existence since the 1970s. It was mainly his knack for self-publicity that pushed him to the forefront of the discipline. This is not to disparage his work in any way - every idea needs an evangelist after all and he certainly contributed to a realignment of the field. However, he was nmore aof a salesman than an innovator in my view.

  2. Leonard, is that you? I hope you haven't been drinking again.