The "Boiled Frog Phenomenon"

11 Oct

As (Polard, 2004) mentioned, If you take a frog and put it in a pot of extremely hot water, it’s obvious that frog will jump and try to get out of the water. However, if you put that same frog in a pot of water that is tepid, and turn the heat on very low, that frog will lay there very quietly; and as the water gradually heats up the frog will calmly fall in a state of unconsciousness; and eventually allow itself to be boiled to death.

Now many of us maybe asking why didn’t the frog jump out of the pot. After all, there was no barrier between him and his freedom. Well a big reason why the Frog did not jump is due to the fact his threat sensing capability is generated by unexpected changes, not slow ones but changes that are gradual. His survival threat was below his ability to identify those changes.

The whole inference of the frog metaphor for organizations is that we as a whole should try and identify the threats of our survival at an early stage when we still have time to plan rather than react to that particular threat; which will be too late. Furthermore, we must also learn how to reduce our threshold of change in order to be able to identify smaller changes that are occurring in our environment.

A perfect example of the Boiling Frog would be our government; they continue to ignore continuous threats to our economy survival. Our government tends to react only to sudden changes and situations. If we look back at September 11th, 2001 that particular incident was a perfect example of the Boil Frog. According to many, the government had great understanding and knowledge on terror attacks; however they failed to plan ahead and at the same time were very careless about information’s they had. As a result, disaster strikes which finally leads them to make better changes.

If we dissect the term ” The Boil frog Phenomenon” in business situations, it will show how organization are not able to identify slow and gradual threats within the organization and of course react only to sudden changes. By organizations focusing only of the satisfaction of key consumers, they failed to detect the continuous threats that the opposition is putting out there; which could play a huge role in the market dynamics in a short period of time (David, 2007). If we really think about it, we don’t have enough proof that key consumers will always stick around when our competitors are putting better products out in the market.

As a result, organizations should react at an early stage when there’s still time to plan rather than finding themselves in a difficult situation at a later stage. Organization should try their best to not get caught up in the boil frog phenomenon. In fact, it would be to their advantage if they could try recognizing threats that could be harmful to the organization otherwise the survival for such organization could be extremely difficult in today’s very competitive industry.



Source by Daniel Polynice

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