Cats and Ducks and Performance Improvement


Mommy And Me!

(Cat PhotoSource: — Duck Photo Source: Creative Commons)


What does a cute kitty video have to do with performance improvement?

I ran across a sweet, but unusual video from the BBC’s YouTube collection. Apparently a cat that had just given birth discovered some ducklings that had just hatched and adopted them as her own. (Rather than having them for lunch.) In their turn, they imprinted on her.

The story is a bit longer and has some suspense to it, so even though I’ve spoiled the ending, I’ve included the video itself below. It’s quite charming and not at all like the “cute kitty” amateur offerings you might have been subjected to in the past.

The reason I thought it was something for a performance and productivity blog is simple: one of the big takeaways from the story is that if the right circumstances occur, the most exceptional things can happen.

Much psychological and business literature is devoted to subjects like “creating change,” “finding the right perspective,” “motivating right action,” and just plain “getting things done.” So stories like this one make me ask what I can do to create circumstances that overcome natural or learned resistances and even instinctual responses. What circumstances are necessary to allow learning and growth? What timing, environment, people, training or other factors will I need to achieve a goal?

This video literally shows us that change, growth, progress and even miracles occur when we make sure that we have all our ducks in a row. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Enjoy the video.