One of our favourite books at the moment is Richard Rumelt’s book Good Strategy Bad Strategy. It’s full of interesting stories on strategy but his story about wrestling the gorilla is one of the most memorable.
The story is about a start-up company who had developed a new microporous material that could repel rain as well as being warmer in cold weather and cooler in hot weather - perfect for outdoor clothing. The team were amazing researchers and developers and they approached their investors to help them build the company into a clothing or textile company. The investor agreed that they had done a fantastic job and that their skills at development were world class. But pointed out that building a clothing or textile company was a completely different game. She explained that it is like they have won an Olympic gold medal in the 1,500m race. They had a good chance of winning similar running races and she’d back them in that. However, they were now suggesting to switching from running to wrestling gorillas.
How often do we, as scientists or any profession for that matter, try to wrestle gorillas? Or even our organisations? So if you or your organisation are considering moving into new realms, consider whether this investor would back you or whether she would consider this wrestling gorillas.
Want to Wonder Woman your Career? Check our Services to see how we can help you.
We Are All Wonder Women is an international movement for female conservation professionals to be inspired, connected, and empowered to create an authentic, fulfilling and happy career.