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The Flowers of Catherine The Great

In Catherine the Great’s garden in St. Petersburg there is a soldier. A visitor asks the soldier why he is there. The soldier does not know. The curious visitor repeats the question to his lieutenant, who also does not know the answer. The visitor does some research and discovers that, 150 years earlier, Catherine the Great was walking in the garden when she saw a particularly beautiful flower. She called a soldier and ordered him to stand guard to ensure nobody stepped on the flower. A soldier was still standing there 150 years later. What I’m saying here is that many companies have institutionalized certain procedures which are dysfunctional in this day and age.

– Manfred Kets De Vries


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