Metaphors – Origin and Significance

Ideas imported from other fields can totally transform your company. In a Creativity Lab conducted for an internationally acclaimed company dealing in printing of tea bags, the problem was maintenance of delicate machines. The expensive machines were often handled clumsily, resulting in damage, breakdowns and loss. To counteract this, the ‘Metaphor’ tool was used.

Metaphors can be applied to gain fresh perspectives on the situation under analysis. A metaphor is a term or phrase that is applied to another, unrelated term or phrase to create a non-traditional relationship. For example, “All the world’s a stage.”

Metaphors can be used to examine various situations. For example, an organizational environment might be the topic of analysis. One might ask, “How do people in my organization resemble animals in a jungle? How do different animals manage their interactions with each other and how do we translate them into the different leadership styles that are used?” Answering these queries might allow new insights into the situation.