Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Of Scorpions & Frogs

Advocates of building information modeling (BIM) and integrated project delivery (IPD) know the technology works.  It's the cultural piece that's broken.  So how do we fix it.  We create a smart built culture.

So why talk about Scorpions and Frogs?

That's a key piece of the puzzle.  You cannot have a smart built culture if stakeholders kill each other.  And that's what happens when a Scorpion asks a Frog for a ride.

For those unfamiliar with the fable of the scorpion and the frog, here's a summary.  

The scorpion approaches the frog and says, "Frog, can I hitch a ride across the lake?

The frog, relaxing along the shore line says, "Not no, but hell no!  Why would I carry a scorpion across the lake?  You'd sting me and I'd die."

The scorpion responds, "Frog, why would I do that?  If I sting you you'd die and I would drowned.  Why would I sting you if that means I'll die too?"

The frog, thinking it over, says "Ok, load up.  I'll carry you across the lake."

The scorpion climb's on the frog's back proclaiming, "Thanks frog, I really appreciate you help.  You won't regret it!"  The frog slides into the lake and starts the long swim to the far shore.  Halfway across the scorpion's stinger begins to quiver .... and suddenly he strikes, driving the stinger deep into the frog's back.


The scorpion gazed across the broad calm waters of the lake.  Winking at the frog, the scorpion says, "It's in my nature."

Then the scorpion and the frog sink beneath the water.

So what does the fable of the scorpion and the frog have to do with a smart built culture?  Quite a bit. Unless you collect the scorpions' stingers at the door frogs are going to die. And if frogs try to ferry scorpions across the lack both scorpions and frogs will die  And painting a scorpion green won't solve the problem.  If you collect stingers from the scorpions then a smart built culture has a chance.  If advocates of a smart built culture continue to carry scorpions across the lake then such endeavors will fail.  If advocates of a smart built cultures lock up the scorpions' stingers then such endeavors have a chance to succeed. Pretty simple.

Let's talk about that next.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV

Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446

Collaborative Construction Website
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