Who is this for? Anyone in Business
What is it About? self-belief
Reading Time 2 minutes

In 1983 being very young and uninhibited by any kind of sensible experience, I decided to go to Leeds.

Not a journey to be taken lightly at the best of times, but Leeds was the home of Waddington, manufacturers and distributors of famous board games and hobbyist delights such as Monopoly, Cluedo, Subbuteo… and I had invented the next great board game – so where else would I go?

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I had worked it out, kind of developed it, written and drawn instructions on how to play, made the board, had the plastic tiled pieces manufactured, bought a box that fitted the board, cut the stencil for the logo and screen printed it onto the box lid.

All ready to go – I jumped on a train to Leeds and took a bus from the station to the firm, founded by John Waddington and the actor Wilson Barrett in the 19th Century, as printers of mainly Theatrical Posters, Flyers and Programmes – not becoming part of the booming games industry until 1922 (none of this history I knew till a Google search five minutes ago).

The hallowed halls of this place – with, as I remember it, – oak panelled walls and huge glass display cabinets filled with aforementioned products somehow didn’t phase me at all – neither did the idea of turning up with no appointment or contact name to ask for.

The lady, behind what was a very impressive grand hotel type reception desk, looked confused – but was saved by an older man coming back from lunch.

Instead of kicking me out, he ushered me through to an adjacent conference room – leaving the door open – not for a quick escape as I thought but so he could see his younger colleagues in the games development team returning from the pub.

They were called in; suited and booted 30 somethings, seemingly humouring the older man, who turned out to be a Director as he bore the arrogance of youth as older people do. But the comparative youngsters got into it after five minutes or so, turning the pieces around suggesting a change or two – looking thoughtful.

Then I was asked when I needed an answer by and I said…

“My train back is at 4:00 pm”

I am not a board game inventing millionaire – but if I had had the patience then that I have now…

As you will have heard before, by all the laws of aerodynamics, aviation, the power to weight ratio, size of wings to the fluffy rounded body – it is impossible for a Bumble Bee to get off the ground.

But Bumble Bees don’t care about physics and “what humans think” so they fly anyway.

Of course, all of that is a myth – it perpetuates the idea that science doesn’t know – but science does.

However it isn’t the myth, being easily destroyed by science, that is the story – the story is an attitude, ignorance being bliss, or “they said I couldn’t, but I did anyway”.

The theme of many a feel-good romcom, buddy movie and tale of daring do against all odds – we have a very human yearning for such stories to be true.

The reason a Bumble Bee can fly is because of its size and the oscillating motion of its wings creating vortices that turn the air around it into an almost viscous liquid – allowing much greater lift than anything we could experience – no matter how hard we flapped our arms.

What we can learn from the science, not the myth, of the Bumble Bee is that it is possible to change our environment (and our success rate) by changing our actions, or Transforming our businesses through design – we can “change our stars” as William was told in the feel-good film of the Knights Tale.

I’m not suggesting that marching into a major company with no appointment is a great idea – but that doesn’t stop us getting greater “lift” by evolving a different approach.

Talk to us about Business Transformation.

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Click here for the Science source

or here for the Feelgood movie