To Those Who Leap

One day, Bill Klann took a trip to Chicago.

Of all the wonders that he could see there, Bill found himself in the midst of the Union Stock Yards.

In a slaughterhouse, of all places.

The world’s capital of butchery

There, he was immersed in a model of industrial butchering efficiency.

Animal carcasses moved by overhead trolleys, while a series of butchers performed different tasks in sequence as the carcasses moved past.

As he watched this bloody symphony of movement, Bill Klann had an epiphany.

It’s the same!

Dismantling something was fundamentally similar to building something.

“If they can kill pigs and cows that way, we can build things that way,” Klann told his boss upon his return to work.

His boss protested. The differences seemed too pronounced, What could be more different than flesh and machinery?

“It’s the same thing,” Bill insisted.

Eventually, Bill Klann prevailed. And the moving assembly line made his boss, Henry Ford, rich and famous.

Creative thinking applied

All because one man saw through the superficial differences between slaughtering animals and assembling cars and made the connection between the underlying structural idea at the heart of both processes.

And because one man, having seen the connection, had the courage to make the leap.

We often think that creative thinking is about making the connections. Many people can do that.

But the true essence of creative thinking is one thing more. The courage to make that leap of faith. Very few do that.

And that makes all the difference.

So if you want to transform your future, your purpose, your organization and, make a difference for your tribe, be like Bill Klann.

Develop your wings on the way down

Find the new by looking for similarities in unusual places.

Find the connections and make educated guesses based on what you’ve seen and felt before.

But most important, find the courage to make the leap from the past to something new, from the same to something different.

As Kurt Vonnegut said,

We have to be continually jumping off cliffs and developing wings on the way down

In other words, be brave.

For the future, as always, belongs to the brave.

But that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?



Thanks to Julia Ceasar for the photo