Implementation Parable – A Taste of Banzo’s Sword

Implementation Parable – A Taste of Banzo’s Sword


Digital Transformation is now a thing. A recognized effort that many companies are now grasping. A few years ago, it was only for the bleeding edge with deep pockets, but now it’s fully commercial. (Sorry for the business pun).

However, there are so many companies and people on our Sales team that could learn from this particular parable. If you aren’t interested in reading the full story – I’ll save you the suspense: The faster you approach your desire without an understanding and appreciation of the journey, the longer the journey.

The Parable

Once upon a time, there was a young and ambitious boy named Matajuro. Matajuro wanted to be the best swordsmen of all of the land. He tracked down Banzo who was the greatest Sword Master to ask him to teach him.

“How long will it take me to become a master?” he asked. “Suppose I become your servant, to be with you every minute, how long?”

“Ten years,” said Banzo.

“My father is getting old,” pleaded Matajuro. “Before ten years have passed I will have to return home to take care of him. Suppose I work twice as hard. How long will it take me?”

“Thirty years,” said Banzo.

“How is that?” asked Matajuro. “When I offer to work twice as hard, you say it will take three times as long. Let me make myself clear. I will work unceasingly. No hardship will be too much. How long will it take?”

“Seventy years,” said Banzo “A pupil in such a hurry learns slowly.”

Matajuro understood that he was being rebuked for his impatience. So he begrudgingly took on an apprentice role that required him to not touch a sword or even speak about sword fighting.

Day in and day out for three years, Matajuro washed dishes, tended the garden, cooked, and cleaned. One day, Banzo crept up on Matajuro and smacked him with a wooden spoon. Another day, he surprised him with a broom. And after each attack, Banzo just disappeared without a word.

With increasing frequency of the attacks, Matajuro learned to work on his toes and was always aware of his surroundings. Eventually, Banzo let him know that he was finally ready to learn. And in lightening speed, Matajuro learned to be one of the best swordsmen in the land.

The Lesson

This story is not specifically about Digital Transformation. If you are rushing into anything (like Digital Transformation), it will be a LONG journey. If you are doing it for the wrong reasons, it will be a LONG journey. The point? Be realistic about what you are trying to accomplish. Be humble, be hungry, but don’t be above doing the dirty work to make things successful. Above all else, have patience.

References and Resources

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