Management by Stealth

I may be a little slow at times, but I reckon I have finally worked it out.  My wonderful wife Mary has for some time talked of us getting some chickens to produce quality home grown eggs.  Of course, I pointed out that we don’t have a chicken run, there are foxes around, we have a cat and lots of other practical implications to owning chickens. So nothing happened.

Until three months ago when Mary’s son Daniel arrived with two live chickens as her (belated) Mother’s Day present. He also provided some feed pellets and a grand wire and timber chicken hutch measuring one metre by not much. We were suddenly set.  Except the chickens needed to be let out of the hutch to forage, scratch about and poo everywhere. Immediately on release they headed for the roadside and on one occasion, yes here it comes…. the chicken crossed the road!  Why? I Don’t care – but luckily some passers by let us know and I retrieved them and back into the hutch.

I purchased some chicken wire and spent the next two weekends building the Taj Ma-hen of chicken runs: 4 X 3 metres, fully enclosed with chicken wire (fox proof) and complete with shade cloth for the summer months. We now have two more chickens thanks to Dan’s Christmas present for Mary!  Eggs galore.

For her birthday, he arrived with seven fruit trees to plant in our orchard.  What orchard? No orchard – we have talked about it and even decided where it might go when the time comes…..  The time has come.  Today I spent hours clearing long grass, digging out rocks and planning a watering system ready to plant these trees.  Another couple of sessions and it should be ready.

I see what is happening.  There is a complicity between mother and son to push projects that in her mind have stalled by bringing on the urgency factor.  The arrival of chickens or trees necessitates the project be accelerated to a whole new time frame, with no consultation with me. Just an expectation that it will now be done.  Brilliant system. And hardly surprising that it is driven by a middle child.

But I am on to it now, so don’t get ahead of yourself Maggie (other middle child). Mind you, knowing what is going on and beating the system are two different things.

Now, I wonder how I can utilise this principle into a management strategy in business….