Welcome

For those of you who were brought here via a business card wrapped in Silly Bandz tucked in your HoHoTO swag bag, welcome. Yes, those are authentic Silly Bandz. No, you cannot exchange them for the Justin Bieber ones. Sorry.

For those of you wondering what the heck Engage the Fox is, it is where I write about how business thinks: how companies, big and small, navigate an ever-changing world. The blog title (catchy, huh) was initially inspired by Larry Chester of Process Design Consultants, who encourages business leaders to “engage the fox”  — to harness the resources of those people within the organization who get things done when nobody else can. Archilochus pointed out that “the fox knows many things,” leading Isaiah Berlin, Philip Tetlock, and Jonah Lehrer, among others, to use the animal to describe a way of thinking that is flexible and allows for ambiguity and change. Foxes are perfect candidates to lead today’s business environment, which is defined by overwhelming amounts of data, competitor disruption, and constant flux. Hedgehogs* need not apply.

For some of us, this is fantastic news. Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of running across a number of seriously smart people who are doing game-changing, highly innovative work, often on shoestring budgets. They are foxes — nimble and quick  — and they will be able to jump over the proverbial candlestick. I will be profiling their work in upcoming posts.

I’ve also run into large corporations who seem to have hit the snooze button: who are hamstrung by hierarchy and red tape, who take weeks and months to organize meetings, and who seem paralyzed when it comes to making decisions. (Hint: If you take 10 or more interviews to make a hiring decision on a non-C-suite level candidate, you’ve got a problem.) Even with their oligopolistic Snuggie wrapped around them, I wonder how these sleepy giants are going to be able to survive over the longer term in this innovate-or-die world.

For those of us who want to use our wits, who want to ride the wave of change instead of being swept under, who want to be the disruptive technology instead of fearing it, there is good news: everybody can learn to be a fox, or at the very least fox-like. In this blog I will showcase fox-like best practices: making effective decisions, thinking critically, embracing change, innovating, pushing the envelope, and circumventing antiquated systems.

Together we can engage the fox. Join me for the ride…

*Hedgehogs, as described by Isaiah Berlin in The Hedgehog and the Fox,embrace certain fixed ideas and stick to their knitting. They are not bad creatures but have trouble when things start to move too quickly, seeing as their one key strategy is to roll up into a ball…

{ 2 comments }

Michelle Corsano December 20, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Brilliant – another culture breaker in our midst!

engagethefox December 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Thanks!!

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