Dislocation – Can you hear the roar of the turbine from here?

It is a sunny but cool autumn day. The blue sky is a bold block of clean colour. We sit in the kitchen and watch the airplanes fly across the field of view at 4 minute intervals. It’s a busy route out of the south east to warmer climes. People want dislocation.

Each jet engine leaves a precise trail of white water droplets that hold their crisp shape but for an instant and then slowly unfurl into nothing-ness. No persistent trails today. The evidence vanishes.

Did that plane really just fly by?

I pick a trail and try to imagine zooming towards the engine that is is leaving it’s silent and temporary mark on our vista. The silence gives way to a hum. It gets colder, Despite the lack of cloud the air feels damp. The hum becomes a roar and then a scream as I land on the engine casing. Outside the metal cowling is still but the vibration belies high speed movement within.

I plunge through the casing into the engine where the heat and light is phenomenal, the ceramic turbine blades slicing the red hot gases at Mach 1, destroying carbon chains in an orgy of fuel consumption. As I plunge into the gas trail I’m struck by how rapidly and violently  my environment changes over comparatively short distances as I travel through the engine and by the world of difference between what I saw in my cosy kitchen and what I witnessed at the point where the jet plume is being created.

Flight of fantasy?


When we look at an organisation gliding along – can we see the enormous internal forces at work? How fast are the blades turning? Depending on the environment will your business leave a long sky trail or will it evaporate quickly? How much heat do you need to generate internally to create enough thrust to propel you towards your goal?

Where do you want to stand to steer your craft? In the pilot seat following today’s flight plan? In the engine witnessing the second by second conversion of expensive fuel into water and destructive greenhouse gases? Or in the kitchen, wandering at how short an impression you are making in the sky today and the range of destinations you might prefer to head toward.

I’m working with a client Director who I think is a bit too close to the compressor fan.

I’m trying to show them the view from the kitchen: as a dislocation

Above are a few hundred words – but I could have shown you a picture or a video or an app…. Or a working model or an engine running in a test facility. How close do you want to be?

Dislocation, metaphor, visualisation and story telling. All valid techniques as part of an agile strategy design®.

Enjoy the sky


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