A riddle about five frogs

May 22, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jonathanpoisner @ 12:51 pm

A riddle that I recently was told (again).  I know I’ve heard this before, but couldn’t remember where/when.  If anybody knows the original source, please let me know.

The riddle:

Five frogs are sitting on a log.  One decides to jump off.  How many frogs are left on the log?

The answer is five.  Deciding to jump off is not the same as jumping off, so all five are still on the log.

This is an especially appropriate riddle for a planning consultant.  The best made plans are meaningless unless there is a commitment to action and an ability to hold people accountable to follow through on their decisions.

As a practical matter, that means decisions shouldn’t be considered “done” until it’s very clear who will take action and by when.

 

Be Sociable, Share!

2 Comments »

  1. By the same token of five frogs remaining on the log, when you say:

    “As a practical matter, that means decisions shouldn’t be considered “done” until it’s very clear who will take action and by when” it should be recognized that setting clear priorities and plans doesn’t mean the job is done either. The job is only done when the action has completed. Often the best laid plans are not executed or only partially executed. Implementation necessarily must be evaluated by extent of completion as well as outcomes of that completion. It isn’t uncommon for people or organizations to have a de facto strategy of “it doesn’t matter so much what we do as long as we’re doing something. While that sounds silly, it may be more true than many organization managers might choose to admit.

    Comment by Tom Bowerman — July 13, 2013 @ 8:02 am

  2. […] About 15 months ago I created a blog update about 5 frogs siting on a log.  […]

    Pingback by A riddle about 5 frogs – updated « Jonathan Poisner — July 11, 2014 @ 3:31 pm

Leave a comment

Content © Copyright 2010-2013 • Jonathan Poisner Strategic Consulting LLC. All rights reserved.