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The Wisdom of Geese

One of our past clients, Jack Murray Director of COI, heard an unusually interesting speaker at a conference. As a result he produced and circulated this article for his staff.

We found it both amusing and thought provoking and completely relevant to project leadership. With his permission we have "borrowed" it. We hope that you also enjoy it.

The following was written by Milton Olsen, the naturalist, and is about the five facts that you may not know about geese - together with some lessons for human beings. These five facts are the wisdom of geese, and the lessons are all about co-operation - especially the last.

Fact 1

As each bird flaps its wings it creates an uplift for the bird following it. By flying a 'V' formation, the whole flock adds 71 per cent greater flying range than if the bird flew alone.

Fact 2

Whenever a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

Fact 3

When the lead goose gets tired it falls back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.

Fact 4

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those in front to keep up their speed.

Fact 5

When a goose gets sick or wounded, two geese drop out of the formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it gets better or dies. They then launch out and join another flock or catch up with their formation.