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Change wizards cooking with sugar

Terry Reid

DPI&F, PO Box 652, Cairns, Qld, 4870. www.dpi.qld.gov.au Email terry.reid@dpi.qld.gov.au

Abstract

The effectiveness of change agents in achieving desired outcomes is greatly influenced by the agent’s ability to interpret and understand their clients and the influences at play, including their own deep values, biases and drivers. Critical for success is the ability to harness this knowledge and understanding to influence people to constructively deal with changing situations. This paper provides an insight into the culture and business practices of the sugar industry in Far North Queensland at the commencement of the 2004 reform program, through the adaptation of a well known children’s story. A description of several change models and strategies including spiral dynamics, chosen and unchosen change, and Johari window, is provided within the FNQ sugar industry context. The design and delivery of one FutureCane workshop is described through these models and strategies.

Key learnings: (1) Stories and metaphors can be powerful tools to facilitate dialogue and understanding. (2) The effectiveness of change agents in achieving desired outcomes is greatly influenced by the agent’s ability to interpret and understand their clients and the influences at play, including their own deep values, biases and drivers.

Key words

Change agents, change models and strategies, story, sugar, tool.

Introduction

The Australian sugar industry is experiencing significant pressure on profitability, with global trends impacting on the industry’s competitiveness in domestic and international markets.

FutureCane is a program of services designed to assist the Queensland sugar industry enhance its farming systems and business practices, to achieve sustained profitability in this complex and continually changing business environment. It is a joint program of the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) and BSES Limited, and is part of the Queensland Government’s sugar industry reform package.

The Far North Queensland (FNQ) FutureCane team designed, developed and delivered 14 Business planning for restructuring workshops between November 2004 and February 2005, with over 300 people participating from 250 of a possible 1300 farm businesses. These workshops assisted participants to consider:

  • A model for understanding change and linkages to good decision-making.
  • A business planning framework to use to help access the Australian Government Sugar Industry Reform Program (SIRP) 2004 Restructuring Grant.
  • The benefits of using a business plan and some planning tools for evaluating options.
  • Own business’ internal strengths and how they can be used to take advantage of opportunities.
  • Future workshops or activities that will help with making decisions, or using the Grant money.

Happy sheet evaluation forms were completed by participants at the end of each workshop, indicating the usefulness to participants of each section of the workshop. They also provided some information about participants’ “Attitudes” and “Aspirations” to taking personal action following the workshop.

FNQ sugar industry

The author’s experience as a change agent in the sugar industry can be demonstrated through an adaptation of a well known children’s story by Dr Seuss called “The Cat in the Hat” (Appendix 1). In this adaptation called “The change agent officio in the sombrero”, two cane farmers, Angelo and friend, are visited by a person with new ideas and ways of doing things. This person challenges the farmers with words and actions, which invokes a series of responses from the farmers and one of their leaders.

The change agent officio in the sombrero explained

Change agents in the FutureCane team are experienced in using models, strategies and tools to approach people from different parts of the sugar industry value chain, and explore issues, ask questions to seek understanding, share knowledge, and challenge current ways of doing business.

Reactions from people have varied and often been tolerant of outsiders with a different perspective. An analogy for many discussions with people in the sugar industry is the image of a young teenager reluctantly exchanging information and niceties with an infirm Grandparent sitting in an aged hostel. The teenager – the sugar industry – feels duty bound or has been brought along by a parent figure to do something they would rather not do. The Grandparent representing change agents such as FutureCane project officers, come from a different world, see things differently, want to engage and be included in shaping the next generation, but are often excluded and are unlikely to be around long enough to be part of the family’s future.

Alternatively, with the sugar industry as the infirm Grandparent, the immediate future is known but it is uncertain as to the quality and length of that future. The essence of the being is strong, but the frameworks and vital instruments are past their prime. At the beginning of the current reform program, there was reluctance by some potential business partners to work with the sugar industry as it was seen as unhealthy, or was misunderstood. New ideas, concepts, and future participants in the sugar industry are represented by the teenager. The teenager often has a richness of ideas with little proven experience, but there is often passion and energy to ensure success if their efforts are supported or not stymied.

Like in this story, FutureCane project officers have highlighted to sugar industry clients, a range of tools and proven strategies that are available to assist the industry to improve the way it works and does business in the current political, economic, and social environments. Like the officio, FutureCane change agents have fallen occasionally and then re-examined models and used another set of strategies and tools to continue. Ultimately it is the story teller and his mate Angelo’s real life counterparts that need to own the ideas and implement or support new business practice. Shared ownership of issues and solutions is starting to happen, as demonstrated by uptake of new farming practices using shared equipment, but there is also clear evidence of a complex relationship with millers and other parts of the industry that are considered by many as too hard to change or considered to be “sacred cows” (such as equity among growers) and therefore considered unchangeable.

Like the officio, FutureCane project officers have returned to some situations and tidied up the confusion that has been created through their energetic and passionate engagement. While little physical evidence remains of their passing, their energy often remains – some grows, some stimulates thinking, some polarises cynicism, but all people touched are involved.

Change models and strategies

This section briefly describes five change models and strategies within the FNQ sugar industry context. The discussion about their applicability and use is considered from the perspective of reflecting on how well a FutureCane workshop called Business planning for restructure (BP for R) addressed this context.

The discussion demonstrates the need for change agents, masters, and wizards, to be highly skilled individuals who are aware of complex social and technical issue interactions, and understand the potential influence and consequence of their personal action to facilitate change.

Chosen and unchosen change

This is a two part model, with each part having 5 predictable stages that describe thinking and emotional responses to (1) change that I choose, and (2) change that chooses me, or unchosen change (Rutherford and Gillard 2000).

Many people who acknowledged the need for change in the FNQ sugar industry, have either divested out of sugar, or have commenced changing their business practices to help improve their situation – including leasing more land, focus on profitability, diversification of crops and income, and changed business alliances. For those still in the sugar industry there are many complex issues that are linked to deep seated values, and are resulting in some of the following unchosen change experiences.

Unchosen change in the FNQ sugar industry

(1) Negation – There are strong feelings of disbelief about the need to do things differently, and denial that the situation is real and here to stay. Generally people are ignoring emotions and focusing on tasks and on “what was”, the past and what is familiar. Observations indicate that people feel weak and inadequate when talking about feelings, and mix with groups and people who discuss how it was.

(2) Self justification – There is much frustration and resistance to reform services and opportunities, and reluctance to help themselves. Comments include “the Government doesn’t want farmers”, and “What more can I do, I’ve already cut my costs as much as I can”.

(3) Acceptance – People are focused on cash flow and meeting cash costs, often comment that they have no control or power to do things differently, and rely on service providers and traditional leaders to show the way. There is very conservative behaviour, where action is consistent with tried and true methods.

(4) Exploration – There is some willingness to learn new things, but engagement is largely driven by compliance requirements such as accessing reform monies. Some changes to past compliance requirements have provided space for exploring new harvesting, processing, and value adding opportunities. New alliances and partnerships along value chain are starting to be considered, and more value chains are being discussed.

(5) Resolution – New interest groups are starting to form and some individuals are working with different people resulting in new and improved foci and knowledge of external influencers and drivers on business opportunities.

FutureCane workshop through unchosen change lens

Facilitators introduced the Chosen and Unchosen Change model with focus on unchosen change. Relevant and timely examples of unchosen changes were used, such as deregulation of sugar industry, growth of Brazil’s sugar industry, increasing government and market compliance requirements. Provided “statements” at each stage of what participants may be hearing others or themselves say about Industry issues.

Participants were challenged to think about what stage they are at when dealing with sugar industry reform, and what some of the immediate challenges will be for decision making. The concept of constant change was introduced through use of a global trends framework to explore past changes, and help to describe future social, technological, economic, environmental, political, and ethical (STEEPE) effects of global trends.

Familiar examples were used to build the credibility of models to help with understanding personal responses to change situations. For example, to prepare the paddock for planting, a range of tools or implements are used depending on ground characteristics, weather influences, and people and financial resources available. More than one implement is needed to complete the job. In the same way, analysing issues, evaluating options, and making decisions, can be enhanced or made easier by using purpose built tools or implements – models. An important skill is knowing when and how to use each tool.

Small group work and facilitated discussion was used to encourage sharing of information and ideas, and exploration of opportunities and the benefits of working together. Facilitators could have made the process more powerful through longer debrief and group based reflection, however, the model was not what motivated people to participate in the workshops, and happy sheet feedback indicated this section as one of the least useful (still scored greater than 5/7). Concepts were reinforced during discussions and facilitators shared examples of personal change situations and responses.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin.

Spiral dynamics

This model is about the study of the emergence and patterns of deep values that (1) mould strategists’ world views, (2) form corporate mindsets, (3) structure leader/follower relationships, (4) establish decision structures, and (5) define reality (Cowan and Todorovic 2000).

It describes the bedrock of deep values that influence hidden and surface values, and provides a platform to stand on while analysing why people think as they do and how they are likely to think next. Currently there are eight zones along the spiral, with most people ebbing and flowing situationally. Each zone is no better or worse than another, only more or less appropriate to the circumstances.

Spiral dynamics in the FNQ sugar industry

(1) Beige – There are some people who perceive that their biological survival is threatened, even with Government welfare programs available. Local cane farmers have stated in the media of being “not able to put bread on the table”, and “have to sell the farm to keep a roof over our heads”.

(2) Purple – There are well bonded industry sectors with strong local, regional and industry wide linkages. Individuals have strong attachments, family bonds, spirituality and rituals, including respecting ancestors. Tight knit groups have repeatedly taken action in the name of the greater good, to keep the status quo.

(3) Red – Rough and ready acting out that displays fearlessness (eg. Blockades at Parliament House). Representative organisations are reshuffling. Exploitive power is readily used. The leader is considered the boss, no questions asked, and a person who gives and gets respect. Charismatic leaders and revolutionary heroes are celebrated.

(4) Blue – Describes most behaviour seen in the industry in FNQ. Focus is on finding truth and authority for what’s happening. Many recent studies commissioned with claims that each is the true picture of the industry. Industry has a strong belief in rules and procedures. Known order is dissolving producing stress and step-by-step plans to move on. Strategic planning has taken on a life of its own. Polarised camps of people and polarised functions such as doers from thinkers. Duty and commitment are watchwords, while innovation and risk are not.

(5) Orange – Rules are being questioned and are now open to interpretation. Multiple things are being tried through many ways including experimentation and analysis. Focus is away from external purposes to more individual achievement, autonomy, and independence. Productivity is being encouraged with economic incentives. Competition is motivating the market. Application of principles and tried and proven expertise is directing management. Some questioning about support available “Is this all there is?”

(6) Green – There is limited movement from the need for self improvement to gain advantage, to self discovery to gain a sense of belonging and harmony with others. Some shared responsibility for taking future action and collective guilt about current situation emerging. Some consensus building across the value chain about the story of why the changes are important and good for everyone involved. Some areas such as grower owned mills are experiencing group think, opposition to individualism, and difficulty balancing achieved results with time and money spent.

(7) Yellow and (8) Turquoise – There is some evidence of personal principles taking precedence over rules, including improved understanding of connection to the global community and thinking about inter-connectedness to living systems.

FutureCane workshop through spiral dynamics lens

The workshop considered cane farmers operating in the Beige zone, by involving social counsellors who participated in the workshops to help “de-stigmatise” and promote their services. However, while there were participants whose stories were concerned with biological survival, it was likely that few cane farmers with a beige zone focus participated.

For participants with a focus in the purple zone, the workshop provided factorial information where it was available, and acknowledged negative past experiences with similar reform programs. Some opportunities for changing business and farming practices were also presented. The importance of family decision making and discussing undiscussables such as family expectations, land stewardship, and ancestral burial history on the property, when considering options was highlighted. Facilitators appealed to ancestral linkages by confirming participants concerns about the real threat to the future of the industry and potential loss of the industry in the local area if opportunities for change are not embraced.

For red and blue zone focussed participants, short sharp workshops provided participants with a clear understanding of key concepts, concise examples and tools to immediately use. There was the promise of tangible rewards (improved business returns and SIRP 2004 grants) but with strong controls since boundaries will be tested. A sense of control through leadership of their own business was promoted, but organisational leaders were involved in designing, promoting, and coordinating workshops. The workshops directly linked to helping people access monies negotiated by their leadership.

The workshops assisted orange zone focussed participants by encouraging new practices to be trialled and for participants to take initiative in clarifying what could be possible. In addition participants were encouraged to consider what is “fair” rather than “equal” when discussing business practices and plans, and to explore impact of changes on the whole farming system including aspects of land, production, financial and people.

Some participants with a green zone focus were looking to create benefits for both themselves and the broader community through projects such as new tillage systems to improve water quality to the reef. However, workshops were successful partly to the need for growers to prepare a business case to get SIRP grant money, where many saw the activity as “training for compliance”, rather than “learning as part of self improvement and discovery”.

For participants operating in the yellow zone, the workshop encouraged honest exploration of own aspirations and what impact action or lack of action is having on self, family, and industry. Participants were encouraged to consider principles of new practice (such as reducing compaction instead of a fixed cropping width) rather than rules or structures, and encourage balance of life aspects. While for participants with a turquoise zone focus, the workshop stated the opportunity to develop strategies to unite and take action to constructively move forward. A metaphor of this is the movie “First Contact” where the “Vulcans” arrive on Earth resulting in humanity uniting in a way that is presently unknown, but needed to contend with new challenges and opportunities.

Johari window

This model was developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham and describes four areas of awareness about personal behaviour based on knowledge of ourselves by self and others, and knowledge of ourselves unknown by self and others (Chapman 2003).

1. Open/free area – known by self and known by others, public arena.

2. Blind spot – unknown by self and known by others

3. Hidden area – known by self and unknown by others, our faade.

4. Unknown area – unknown by self and unknown by others.

The larger the Open/free area or public arena, the greater will be an individual’s personal sense of reality due to their awareness of personal skills and behaviours, as are others, and the greater the chance of having healthy, open relationships. The model can help improve personal ability to achieve desired outcomes by enlarging the area of quadrant 1 (Open/free area) relative to the other three quadrants. This can include:

  • Reduce Blind area by asking others for feedback about self.
  • Increase Hidden area by sharing information about self with others.
  • Reduce Unknown area by learning about personal strengths and challenges (eg. personality, team preferences), and involving other people in co-learning.

Johari window in the FNQ sugar industry

Many undiscussables exist in the industry including business succession, profitability benchmarks, length of harvesting window, and changes to the payment formula. Knowledge in the public arena quadrant is static, and there are significant areas of Blind spot and Hidden.

People are maintaining the faade in the hidden area which has diverted energy away from engaging in meaningful and constructive working relationships. Opportunities are being missed when people don’t tell each other about what they see can be improved by each other.

There appears to be limited willingness to learn about self and how personal behaviour influences the system, limited willingness to engage in learning for knowledge activities except to influence compliance requirements, and considerable influence of unconsciousness on behaviour and relationships. Cane farmers express their desire for complex decisions to be made simple, resulting often in decisions being made when options and realistic pathways forward have reduced (such as selling the farm as the business will not support more than one family, and health issues diminish ability to work the farm).

FutureCane workshop through johari window lens

Activities used were group based where participants were encouraged to share ideas for projects, and why they think it is a good idea. Facilitators asked questions such as “when was the last time you asked your colleague, friend or neighbour about your farming practices and business?” and “when was the last time the information was provided and you listened or responded to it?”

Participants were encouraged to ask questions of others about how they see what is done on their own farm or business, to help learn about what they can improve in their own business, and to help extend the quadrant 1 window. There was however limited opportunity and support for personal disclosure and debriefing support, and group dynamics was operating at the “Forming” and “Storming” stages. Activities focussed on communication sharing rather than achieving behaviour change.

Ethics

Ethics relates to moral principles and rules of conduct. For example the Queensland Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 outlines the following five ethics principles: (1) Respect for the law and system of government, (2) Respect for persons, (3) Integrity, (4) Diligence, (5) Economy and efficiency.

Ethics in the FNQ sugar industry

Collectively, individuals in the industry have a strong sense of what is right and wrong. There is a clear expectation that people will act honourably, but they are quick to judge either way. There is general respect for persons especially peers. There appears to be acceptance that it is OK to say one thing to peers, and then say something else to others or to act in a different way. White lies and exclusion of information appear to be acceptable practices, and there are clear hierarchies about who can be told what, when, and by whom.

There is respect for the law especially when it is believed to protect personal interests. However discussions suggest that there is limited respect for system of government, even though industry representative organisations are adept at using the system to their advantage. Economy and efficiency is sought but individuals are often unable or unwilling to measure it or use indicators for decision making.

FutureCane workshop through ethics lens

Facilitators were transparent about purpose and objectives of workshops, established ground-rules and “contract” for what was delivered, and managed expectations created through promotion material and lead up activities. A clearly defined team approach with other services providers was used for workshop coordination, delivery and follow-up support, including working through multiple parts of the Industry including mill and grower organisations.

Factorial information was used and ambiguity was explained. Participants were encouraged to take responsibility for what they have influence and control over, and facilitators offered and delivered support services as negotiated with participants and stakeholders.

Learning through stories

This is a strategy that is linked to the “Myth and Metaphor” level of Causal layered analysis (Gillard 2005), and links with Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) that describes the incorporation of ideas into the mind.

Learning through stories in the FNQ sugar industry

Many stories of past times are used to highlight both good and bad experiences. These include the good aspects of collective bargaining, mechanisation, green cane trash blanketing, and prices before the floating of the Australian dollar. The bad aspects include weather impacts such as cyclones and droughts, and government responses to calls for assistance.

Many stories are currently used as a “right of passage” to participate at different levels of the industry. The more a person has experienced or influenced then the greater the “right of passage”.

FutureCane workshop through learning through stories lens

Workshop facilitators used change stories such as chosen changes of implementing green cane trash blanketing, working collaboratively in harvest groups, business plan experiences for financiers, investing within and outside the sugar industry, and finding life partners. Facilitators built personal credibility by relating these stories to their own experiences in life, in particular personal action taken with assisting other people or industries to deal with the same or similar issues. Participants were invited to share their thoughts in a small group and with the facilitators.

Recent change experiences were contextualised through grounding what has changed in the world during participants living memory, from STEEPE perspectives (social, tech, economic, environmental, political, ethical).

Summary

This paper has been a story of reflection and learning about introducing concepts of change to sugar cane farmers in Far North Queensland. It demonstrates the need for change agents, masters, and wizards, to be highly skilled individuals who are aware of complex social and technical issue interactions, and understand the potential influence and consequence of their personal action to facilitate change. In a similar way to leaders providing a vision and pathways to enable others to follow, so to do change agents need to tap into the energies of people to motivate them to take personal responsibility and action to constructively deal with change situations.

The first part about the FNQ sugar industry demonstrates the need to deeply understand the workings of the target industry or clients. In addition, it is desirable to be able to articulate this understanding to facilitate a dialogue with other change agents and target group players that will unite, focus and mobilise effort to deliver desired change outcomes. Stories and metaphors can be powerful tools to facilitate this dialogue and understanding.

The second part about change models and strategies demonstrates the need for change agents to be aware of models that describe complex drivers of individuals’ responses to change situations. Change agents can improve their effectiveness by contextualising these models in terms of different client groups and change opportunities, and use this understanding to design, develop and deliver appropriate change intervention strategies.

In conclusion, the effectiveness of change agents in achieving desired outcomes is greatly influenced by the agent’s ability to interpret and understand their clients and the influences at play, including their own deep values, biases and drivers. The ability to harness this knowledge and understanding to influence individuals to constructively deal with changing situations, is critical for success.

References

Cowan C C and Todorovic N (2000), ‘Spiral dynamics: the layers of human values in strategy’, Strategy and Leadership, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 4.

Chapman A (2003), ‘Johari Window Model’ Available at http://www.businessballs.com/johariwindowmodeldiagram.pdf Accessed Dec 2005.

Gillard E (2005) ‘Layers of Causality: A Strategic Thinking Tool for Change Agents’, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, unpublished paper.

Rutherford A and Gillard E (2000), Understanding Change – A video and workshop package, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland.

Appendix 1: The change agent officio in the sombrero – a story of change in the sugar industry

The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the shed
All that hot, hot, wet day.

I sat there with Angelo.
We sat there, we two.
And I said, “How I wish
We had some ploughing to do!”

Too wet to go out
And too comfy for sure.
So we sat in the shed.
We did nothing at all.

So all we could do was to
Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit!
And we did not like it.
Not one little bit.

And then
Something went BUMP!
How that bump made us jump!
We looked!
Then we saw him step in on the lino!
We looked!
And we saw him!
The change agent Officio in the Sombrero!
And he said to us,
“Why do you sit there just drinking your solo?”

“I know it is wet
And the sun is not sunny.
But we can have
Lots of good fun and make some good money!”

“I know some new strategies we could use,”
Said the officio
“I know some new tools,”
Said the Officio in the Sombrero.
“A lot of good tools.
I will show them to you.
Your miller
Will not mind at all if I do.”

Then Angelo and I
Did not know what to say.
Our Miller was out of town for the day.

But our leader said, “No! No!
Make that officio go away!
Tell that Officio in the Sombrero
You do NOT want to play.
He should not be here.
He should not be about.
He should not be here
When your miller is out!”

“Now! Now! Have no fear.
Have no fear!” said the officio.
“My tools are not bad,”
Said the Officio in the Sombrero.
“Why, we can make
Lots of good money, just like your friend Peter,
With a strategy I call
UP-UP-UP with a leader!”

“Put me down!” said the leader.
“This is no good at all!
Put me down!” said the leader
“I do NOT wish to fall!”

“Have no fear!” said the officio.
“I will not let you fall.
I will hold you up high
As I stand on Wilbur’s four quadrant ball.
With Models in one hand!
And a chosen change on my sombrero!
But that is not ALL I can do!”
Said the officio . . .

“Look at me! Look at me now!” said the officio.
“With a chosen change and a workshop
On the top of my sombrero!
I can hold up TWO models!
I can hold up the leader!
And open Johari’s window!
And some new fangled weeder!
And look!
I can hop up and down on the four quadrant ball!
But that is not all!
Oh, no. That is not all . . .

“Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to make money
But you have to know how.
I can support chosen change
And the weeder and workshop!
I can hold up these models!
And keep a leader on the hop!
I can open Johari’s window
And challenge the din!
And look! With my brain
I can picture Belbin!
I can talk teams with Belbin
As I hop on the ball!
But that is not all.
Oh no.
That is not all. . . . “

That is what the officio said . . .
Then he fell on his head!
He came down with a bump
From up there on the four quadrant ball.
And Angelo and I,
We saw ALL the things fall!

And our leader came down, too.
He fell into a spot!
He said, “Do I like this?
Oh, no! I do not.
This is not a good strategy,”
Said our leader as he lit.
“No, I do not like it,
Not one little bit!”

“Now look what you did!”
Said the leader to the officio.
“Now look at this shed!
Look at this! Look at that!
You exposed Johari’s window,
Exposed it in a workshop.
You shook up this shed
And you won’t let me stop
You SHOULD NOT be here
When our Miller is not.
You get out of this shed!”
Said the leader from his spot.

“But I like to be here.
Oh, I like it a lot!”
Said the Officio in the Sombrero
To the leader on his spot.
“I will NOT go away.
I do NOT wish to go!
And so,” said the Officio in the Sombrero,
“So, So, So . . .
I will show you
Another good strategy I know!”

And then he ran out.
And, then, fast as a fox,
The Officio in the Sombrero
Came back in with a box.

A big red tool box.
It was shut with a hook.
“Now look at this tool,”
Said the officio.
“Take a look!”

Then he got up on top
With a tip of his sombrero.
“I call this strategy MONEY IN A BOX,”
Said the officio.
“In this box are two things
I will show to you now.
You will like these two things,”
Said the officio with a bow.

“I will pick up the hook.
You will see something new.
Two things. And I call them
Future One and Future Two.
These Futures will not bite you.
They want to be true.
Then, out of the box
Came Future One and Future Two!
And they ran to us fast.
They said, “How do you do?
Would you like to shake hands
With Future One and Future Two?”

And Angelo and I
Did not know what to do.
So we had to shake hands
With Future One and Future Two.
We shook their two hands.
But our leader said, “No! No!
Those Futures should not be
In this shed! Make them go!

“They should not be here
When your miller is not!
Put them out! Put them out!”
Said the leader from his spot.

“Have no fear, faithful leader,”
Said the Officio in the Sombrero.
“These Futures are good Futures.”
And he gave them a pat.
“They are tame. Oh, so tame!
They have come here to stay
They will lead to more money
On this wet, wet, wet day.”

Now here is a Model that they like,”
Said the officio.
“They like to fly spiral dynamic kites,”
Said the Officio in the Sombrero

“No! Not in the shed!”
Said the leader on his spot.
“They should not fly spiral dynamic kites
In a shed! They should n.
Oh, the things they will change!
Oh, the depth of the shit!
Oh, I do not like it!
Not one little bit!”

Then Angelo and I
Saw them run down the road.
We saw those two Futures
Spiral bump and dynamically thump their kites on a toad!
Bump! Thump! Thump! Bump!
On the toads down the road.

Future Two and Future One!
They ran up! They ran down!
On the string of one kite
We saw miller’s new plan!
His plan with the target
Of 100 tonnes of Q200 Red.
Then we saw one kite spiral
To the new Company head!

Then those Futures ran about
With big spirals, ethics, and news
And with myths and metaphors
And all kinds of new views.
And I said, “I do NOT like the way that they pitch!
If miller could see this,
Oh, how he would twitch!”

Then our leader said, “Look! Look!”
And our leader shook with fear.
“Your miller is on his way home! Do you hear?
Oh, what will he do to us?
What will he say?
Oh, he will not like it
To find us this way!”

“So, DO something! Fast!” said the leader.
“Do you hear!
I saw him. Your miller!
Your miller is near!
So, as fast as you can,
Think of something to do!
You will have to get rid of
Future One and Future Two!”

So as fast as I could,
I gathered my team.
And I said, “With my team
I can get them it seems.
It seems, with my team,
I can make Futures lean!”

Then I sent out my team.
They closed every shop!
And I had them! At last!
Those two Futures had to stop.
Then I said to the officio,
“Now you do as I say.
You pack up those Futures
And you take them away!”

“Oh dear!” said the officio.
“You did not like our game . . .
Oh dear.
What a shame!
What a shame!
What a shame!”

Then he shut up the Futures
In the box with the hook.
And the officio went away
With a sad kind of look.

“That is good,” said the leader.
“He has gone away. Yes.
But your miller will come.
He will find this big mess!
And this mess is so big
And so deep and so tall,
We can not pick it up.
There is no way at all!”

And THEN!
Who was back in the house?
Why, the officio!
“Have no fear of this mess,”
Said the Officio in the Sombrero
“I always wrap up all my strategies and so . . .
I will show you another
Good tool that I know!”

Then we saw him clean up
All the things that were down.
He cleaned up the workshop,
And picked up the mill plan,
And the models, and strings,
And the new fangled weeder,
And the image of Belbin,
Repaired Johari’s window,
And placated the leader.
And he sent them away.
Then he said, “Time to go solo.”
And then he was gone
With a tip of his sombrero.

Then our miller came in
And he said to us two,
“Did you make any money?
Tell me. What did you do?”

And Angelo and I did not know
What to say. Should we tell him
The things that went on there that day?

Should we tell him about it?
Now, what SHOULD we do?
Well . . .
What would you do
If your miller asked you

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