Trusting the map

May 19, 2010

‘This incident, related by the Hungarian Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi, happened during military manoeuvres in Switzerland. The young lieutenant of a small Hungarian detachment in the Alps sent a reconnaissance unit into the icy wilderness….The lieutenant suffered, fearing that he had dispatched his own people to death. But on the third day the unit came back. Where had they been? … Yes, they said, we considered ourselves lost and waited for the end. And then one of us found a map in his pocket…And here we are. The lieutenant borrowed this remarkable map and had a good look at it. He discovered to his astonishment that it was not a map of the Alps, but a map of the Pyrenees. ‘ Karl Weick ‘Sense Making in Organizations’

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