Dinosaurs vs dolphins: be distinct or go extinct

Written by Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri CMgr FCMI Tuesday 22 March 2022
A manager’s mindset is vital to not just their success, but their team and the business’ too. And there’s only one type of corporate creature who can make a splash…
On the left, a dolphin swimming and on the right a dinosaur roaring

Be distinct or go extinct. This is the challenge facing us in an increasingly competitive world. And I think this tension is illustrated perfectly by two very well known animals: dolphins and dinosaurs.

On the one hand, dinosaurs are believed to have become extinct around 65 million years ago. Some scientists speculate that climate change, combined with lower oxygen levels, may have led directly to the dinosaurs’ demise. Ultimately, they could not adapt to their changing environment – and now they only exist in movies.

These are the corporate dinosaurs. They are people who resist change. There are many forms of corporate dinosaurs in lots of organisations: from public sector administrators clinging onto financial and administrative regulations, to private sector managers adamant that employees complete a task in the old, traditional way, without changing for better.

It is a common factor in corporations; change is uncomfortable, and human nature resists moving beyond comfort zones. Some are scared of change, hiding their technical ignorance by proclaiming that they never use a mobile “as a matter of principle”. But it is not the new idea that they are scared of. As renowned novelist DH Lawrence puts it so vividly: “the world fears a new experience more than it fears anything”.

Keep reading to learn more about the management mindset you need to avoid going extinct


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