Big-Profit Team Thinking
Cabbages and Kings
The Old Fox took one of the seats around the circular table; all the chairs were alike; the other eight men sat in the first chairs they happened upon; the nine shed their coats, loosened ties, and slumped comfortably; some lit cigarettes, others pipes; one man smoked a cigar. When only exhalations sounded in the room, the Old Fox spoke.
"All right, here's the bit; we've got a client with about ten refrigerated warehouses full of pork sausages. He can't ship them overseas now that the waterfront's tied up, and it looks like the whole bloody mess is going to go stale if we can't sell them right here. This is a tough town to sell pork sausages in. We are bucking years of tradition. What do we do?"
"We Brainstorm!" said one of the pipe smokers.
"Right," said the Old Fox grimly, "we Brainstorm."
"What's Brainstorming?" said a younger man boldly.
"Good question. What is Brainstorming? All right, here's the bit. We sit here and we think, we take the problem right by the horns and chew on it. All together. The bit is to spill anything that hits you. Shout it out, take the ball from one man and keep it bouncing, keep it talking, let it flow.
"Like Joyce," said a man enthusiastically.
"Just like good old Joyce," the Old Fox said.
"There it is boys, there's a big bag of boodle in it. All right, fire at will."
There was a moment of concentration, of furrowed, knitted, and arched eyebrows.
"Pork," said a man.
"Sausages. Franks. Frankinsence. You're a wise man if you chose Frankinsence Allpork Skinless Franks."
"Never. They'd rot on the shelf. Got to call them... call them.. Wursts! Call them Wursts!"
"That's the bit," said the Old Fox, "give them something they can understand Keep it going. Osborne, Kirby, Lewis, let's go, let it flow, let it roll, push it over, over the goal."
The Old Fox had the table going. The men were rocking forward and back rhythmically, blurting words.
"I once had a girl named Stigma."
"Refrigerator." "Cool off Stigma."
"Cool Wursts, get your cool Wursts."
"No trichanies in these weinies!"
"Tell them its American. Tell them its first cousin to Ham n' Eggs."
"Buy America, buy cool pork Wursts for lunch."
"Pigs is Pigs!
"Is a rose is a rose is a rose!!"
And so it went, on into the afternoon: nine topflights brainstorming, creating, stumbling upon spontaneous, golden keys to unlock the city's pocketbook.