I would like to share with you this story that shaped the way I approach unknown problems and situations.
In 1873 a German zoologist Dr Karl Mobius conducted a famous experiment with a pike –an aggressive fish predator. Dr Mobius put a glass divider in the middle of a tank. On one side he dropped small prey fish, and pike into another. The pike started to charge the minnows. It charged over and over, and each time it would crash violently into the glass wall. Sometimes the impact was so strong that it would float upside down for some time before recovering. Finally, after 3 months the pike gave up. After six months the glass wall was removed and the pike roamed freely among the minnows – they peacefully shared the tank. The pike survived by eating the food given by Dr Mobius. Other researchers have repeated Mobius’s experiment with the same results. Some have actually allowed the pike to starve to death while minnows swam safely around.
Our glass walls are created by our past experiences, beliefs, and habits. The sooner we start questioning our old assumptions and become aware of their true value the sooner we will free ourselves from the pike syndrome. The same applies to organisations where their core business values are being unknowingly eroded by inherited habits and practices.