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Fishy business

Let me tell you some stuff that you already know.

Blue whales are HUGE. Their hearts are the size of a VW Beetle and their tongues are eight feet long! Because of their size, they turn around very slowly. Apparently it takes them up to three minutes to change direction.

So what?

Let’s compare them to sardines – specifically a school of sardines – which has the same or even a greater mass than the whale. A school of millions of silvery sardines can turn almost instantly. But how? How can millions of fish turn in an instant without creating havoc?

The answer is a rather satisfying combination of the simple and the complex. If you take a careful look at a school of sardines, you’ll notice that although the fish all appear to be swimming in the same direction, in reality, at any time, there will be a small group of sardines swimming in a different direction. These brave creatures are swimming against the flow, against conventional wisdom. And as they swim in another direction, they cause conflict, they cause friction, and this causes discomfort for the rest of the school.

But finally, when a critical mass of truly committed sardines is reached – not a huge number like 50 per cent or 80 per cent of the school, but 15 to 20 per cent who are truly committed to a new direction – the rest of the school suddenly turns and goes with them – almost instantaneously!

Look here folks, we only let intelligent people subscribe to this blog, so we’ll let you work it out for yourselves. But we can’t help thinking that this might actually be about real schools and realbusinesses. And 2%ers?

Or maybe it’s just about fish?


Andy x

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