The use of a metaphor

Online Community Enthusiasts 2010 meeting

Yesterday I met with a group of people who identify as Online Community Enthusiasts.    Something that resonated with me was the use of metaphors to talk about complex topics.  Examples included the Intellectual Estuary to describe a place where you bring different minds together to share ideas or Intersections to describe a place where groups find mutualism and agree to work together more.

My favourite metaphor was the Eddy.  This conversation was dominated by paddlers and it helped us to talk about key themes important to organizations and projects revolving around reflective practice.  The Eddy represented:

  • A time and place to slow down
  • Looking out at the big picture
  • The need to deliberately plan ‘eddy’s’ into your work
  • Sometimes its hard to get into and out of the eddy
  • The eddy is a rest stop, not the trip in itself

I am a strong supporter of Eddys and will use this metaphor when trying to explain the value  of reflective practice to project managers in the future.

Thanks to the online enthusiasts for all the great conversations throughout the day!

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