Take it as a given that elephants don’t tap dance. (They are super smart, and we are a horrible horrible species, busy exterminating them, but you knew thtis).
Elephants don’t even jump – because, why would they need to?
And the elephants, if you don’t know me, are one of my favourite metaphors for big, slow, hidebound organisations that SHOULD have a decent power and intelligence to them, but, um, don’t. Elephants are organisations that are good – or seem good – at doing the things they (are expected to) do.
But my goodness if you are a tiny, un(der)funded organisation wanting to punch above your weight, and bring about rapid and radical change, then a friendly elephant that says it is on board can tell you things you really want to believe. They have resources, heft and the rest of it, and say they can deliver.
And it can take some time to see that, well, elephants can’t tap dance, no matter what they would like, and they can’t even – at least in my experience – help you do your thing, or even do things that are actually in their zone of competence but not in their zone of, well, how to put it delicately – core funding.
Plenty of word salad and evasion though. Arse-covering gibberish with a message in the medium, when you read between the lines.
A sad lesson (re)-learned. I did know better, I just chose to tell myself sweet little lies for a while.
So it goes.
There are no shortcuts, and there seems not to be any actual help out there from the elephants. The mice (the same ones that are being eaten by the cat) are on their own.
We’re so screwed.
So it went.