Blue Cat (Doesn’t) Defend His Rice Bowl


Blue Cat was hanging out at the table before dinner the other night, and (as usual) something ordinary activated the “metaphor” part of his brain. This time it was the bowl of rice on the table, which he was particularly attached to. (Blue Cat loves rice, especially the brown kind). His first thought was to keep it all to himself. But then he had a thought…


Brown rice is really good, but a cat can only eat so much…

Can you imagine a meal that’s just rice, when there are other foods on the table? If Blue Cat didn’t just focus on his rice, he’d be able to benefit from the chicken and vegetable and gravy (ahh, gravy) that the others had near them. Working together, everyone could have a better experience, even though that meant Blue Cat would have to give up some control of his bowl of rice.

So where’s the metaphor? Blue Cat’s initial thought is what we call “defending your rice bowl” in business – keeping some part of your work protected and not letting anyone else participate in it. And Blue Cat was just about to do that – until he realized that opening up and sharing his “stuff” would make things better for himself and others. Why just focus on your small part of the world when you can share with others and get something even better?

In the end, Blue Cat and his family had a great meal because he cooperated, and no one minded that Blue Cat had two servings of rice.  And he thinks that you should do the same – so let him know how it works out.

And save some rice for him in case he comes to dinner tomorrow night.

© William P. Doyle, Jr  2012  All Rights Reserved