Unintended Consequences (The Power of Bird Brains)

The sprinklers finish their job around 6:15 am here in Nantucket. There are 15 pieces of slate that form a walkway to the pool gate, each surrounded on all sides by grass. So the sprinklers create small “pools” on the slate until the sun evaporates the water.

Two robins are in these pools this morning taking complete baths, over several minutes, as I assume they do every time the sprinklers provide the opportunity. They manage to submerge their entire bodies, every feather.

The sprinkler system has the unintended consequence of creating highly effective bird baths.

I recall working with some teams at a client years ago with the purpose of solving some distribution problems, which we did. But inadvertently, the teams also surfaced some chronic management communications shortcomings, which I documented and reported to my buyer, which resulted in a new project.

Look around: What we create often has unintended consequences, and the opportunities therein have to be appreciated to be exploited. These robins seem to be smarter than some consultants.

(And I’m wondering why no one has created a bird bath—I have two in my yard—that has an “auto fill” which doesn’t rely on rain or sprinklers to fill it.)


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