Walrus and the Penguins

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Submitted by to the category Literature on 04/02/2012 12:57 PM

The story was an interesting representation of business systems in a fable form that was rather amusing. By putting complex business principles into a nice little story, it allows for discussion that is applicable to any business environment.

The primary system was a food development partnership set up in environment in which the penguins and clams lived. There was a food source that was unattainable by either party due to their limitations in either skill or “property rights.” By utilizing the ability of the walruses to reach the feeding grounds “owned’ by the penguins, both parties were able to develop a business relationship where both could attain their desired goals. This system encouraged more penguins and more walruses that was ultimately limited by the infrastructure of the ice berg.

The parts of this system were the clams, the walruses, the penguins, and the ice berg. The clams were the final product both parties were interested in. The penguins and walruses were partners relying on each other since neither had the ability to develop the product on their own. The iceberg was the infrastructure that held the system in place. Too often we see the clams, walrus, and penguin as an integral part of the system but fail to think about how the increased demands on the infrastructure can topple the system if adjustments are not made. As seen here, the infrastructure can quickly become overwhelmed unless plans are made to update it as necessary. Often times it is the infrastructure that is the limiting agent in business. Sadly many push these boundaries to the point of breaking.

The purpose of the system was to provide food for all the parties involved. The penguins had the area but not the means, the walruses had the means but not the area. The system was most interesting in that the walruses could have eaten the penguins or attempted a “hostile takeover.” Instead they sought to have a mutually beneficial relationship where everyone’s needs...

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