Metaphor Teaching Story
The Paper Ball
by Silvia Hartmann
There is the what I call "paper ball principle" which is a form
of behaviour many people who like to collect information for information's sake
are very fond of.
I noted this at a corporate weekend which was designed to find the three
managers out of 50 who would not be dismissed and not only retain their jobs,
but have a triple wage increase for their added responsibilities, following a
The first task set was to acquire various items and bring them back by a
specific time. One man was told to get a ball. But instead of getting in his car
and finding a toy or sports shop miles away from the rural location where the
course was held, he raised an eyebrow, cut out a picture of a ball from a
magazine and sat drinking in the bar for the rest of the afternoon instead.
When he presented the paper ball to the team leader, the woman gazed at him for
a few moments and then told him to pack his bags and leave.
© Silvia Hartmann 2001