“It was autumn, and the Indians on the reservation asked their new chief if it was going to be a cold winter. Raised in the ways of the modern world, the chief had never been taught the old secrets and had no way of knowing whether the winter would be cold or mild. To be on the safe side, he advised the tribe to collect wood and be prepared for a cold winter. A few days later, as a practical afterthought, he called the National Weather Service and asked whether they were forecasting a cold winter. The meteorologist replied that, indeed, he thought the winter would be quite cold. The chief advised the tribe to stock even more wood.
A couple of weeks later, the chief checked in again with the Weather Service. “Does it still look like a cold winter?” asked the chief.
“It sure does,” replied the meteorologist. “It looks like a very cold winter.” The chief advised the tribe to gather up every scrap of wood they could find.
A couple of weeks later, the chief called the Weather Service again and asked how the winter was looking at that point. The meteorologist said, “We’re now forecasting that it will be one of the coldest winters on record!”
“Really!” said the chief. “How can you be so sure?”
The meteorologist replied, “The Indians are collecting wood like crazy!”
This old ‘Indian tale’ is neither old or Indian. Circular thinking is part of any organization. I am sure you’ll find stories of ‘cause and effect’ in many areas of the business, many actions, strategies, many ‘most people are doing X’. Well, let’s remember the Indians
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