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Food for thought?

07/19/2010

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So my supposition is that if you are a parent you’ve been covered in food.  In fact, if you’ve ever tried to feed a baby….you’ve been covered in food.  As parents we all know the soul-destroying feeling.  You’ve loving prepared a nutritious, balanced and totally wholesome puree for Junior.  Because you care for him.  You love him.  You want him to grow up big and strong and be the best he can be.  You’ve tasted it.  A little on the bland side maybe, but then he is not in Vindaloo territory just yet.  It is inoffensive, but healthy.  You take a little spoonful, making sure it is not too hot, that it isn’t going to burn or upset Junior.  Junior is hungry, he opens his mouth and you push the spoon inside doing a little upward movement to make sure the food comes off the spoon.

Then you wait……

The facial contortions start.  The eyes screw up, the lips pucker.  The grimace….and then PWAAAAHHH! The food flies.  Over you, over the floor.  Over the cat who was, for once, an innocent bystander. And the next time the spoon comes forth, the hands are up, the mouth is closed and you meet more resistance than General Petain.  All in all they reckon it can take up to twenty presentations of a new flavour or food before a baby is willing to accept it.

So have I come over all mommy blogger? Well…not today no.  The reason that I’m talking about this is a breakthrough that I’ve had at work.  Since I joined I’ve been talking about the need to significantly alter the company culture, a need to adapt to survive.  I know from past experience what will happen if we don’t.  I’m trying to do something good for the company, something to help it to grow, to be strong and to be healthy.  But for the last eighteen months, I have been wiping the metaphorical puree of cultural change from my face each time I presented it.  Then last week, the mouth popped open, the food was swallowed and all of sudden the spoon was banging on the high chair with a demand for more.

I can remember going through the depths of despair with one of my kids who seemed intent on only eating one flavour of commercially made baby food and rejecting anything else we tried to offer, no matter how hard we worked.  At the time my Dad asked me the question, “Have you ever seen a teenager that only eats baby food?” and of course the answer was clear.

It is Monday morning and I can guarantee at least half of you will be tackling a subject at work this week that has been rejected or kicked out for no other reason that it is strange and foreign.  You know it is the right thing to do, so why can’t everyone else see that?  Well, I guess the answer is the same as it was in my moment of the despair.  Remember, perseverance is all and everyone even companies develop at slightly different speeds.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/19/2010 10:17

    As a papa of three girls I do relate to this post.

    On the home front, my good lady ex was a super nanny and came across such issues from time to time. One such incident was a toddler who would only eat Mars bars – no amount of coaxing (including short periods of outright starvation) resulted in anything other that complete and utter parental submission and the supply of yet more fresh Mars bars. It’s a scary place to be when the little tyke seems to prefer starvation over nutrition.

    A little like your father, my ex stated that there were few adults who lived solely on Mars bar and perhaps the parents might want to calm and simply keep working on gentle coaxing over a prolonged period. And she was right, some years on the child dropped the obsession with Mars bars. She now lives solely on hamburgers.

    As for work… well a client I’m working with has moved from Mars bars to Hamburgers (in an HR sense) but is resolutely refusing to move to anything more nutritious. It’s not even a good burger, way too much raw onion and strong cheese. Immensely frustrating but, upon reading your post today, I’m given new hope. I might come back to them in a few years and see if they’ve moved on, or perhaps if they’ve suffered the HR heart attack I suspect they will if they can’t move on. Patience…

  2. Karen (Sayya26) permalink
    07/21/2010 16:50

    Hey HRD,

    Haven’t been here in a while cuz guess what? i’m a mommy 🙂 he came a little early and he’s now 6 weeks and doing fine (except for being quite gassy). oh and his face already contorts when he wants to poo- quite hilarious…

    Anyway, i’m sleep deprived and feel like a cow but love this new addition to death. the change is worth it and i have a good support system.

    In context of an organization- you need to have that support as well because change can be exhausting and having a helping hand can go a loooong way. Good luck to u!

  3. 08/02/2010 20:04

    @Pete Nicholls – May that hamburger prove to be a salad in disguise! Patience indeed….

    @Karen – Wooooohoooooooo! Many, many, many congratulations. Love and best wishes to your newly enlarged family.

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