The chicken trap illustrate how we are inclined to react, when we are confronted with adversities in life. There are as many solutions to a problem, as there are people experiencing it, and it is difficult - actually quite impossible - to pre-determine a "successful" solutions for most problems... except maybe in case of problems which are technical in nature.
The main reason why we frequently find it quite difficult to efficiently deal with the majority of complex problems, are because we fail to "plan ahead" and "prepare" ourselves for the task lying ahead, considering all our options (i.e. the context and dynamics of the situation) and the efforts required (i.e. utilizing our our resources) to initiate a solution to the problematic situation. The most effective way to explain the subtle unfolding of this "trap" is with the help of the following illustration...
Lets assume that we are hungry and would love a nice meal. What we need to do, is to "scout the environment" and identify opportunities that we can exploit to obtain our objective (i.e. getting and securing a meal). Let's assume further, that one of our most feasible options presently available (i.e. the most cost effective method) is to catch a chicken and prepare the meal ourselves.
Once we have a objective (i.e. nice meal) and opportunity (availability of chickens), we now have to "execute" our plan. By simply jumping over the fence into the fowl house and attempting to grab the nearest available chicken - most of the time - merely result in us grabbing a hand full of chicken feathers (i.e. an unsuccessful effort). This frequently happens due to our ignorance, because we "know" what we want to accomplish, but we often fail to determine the strategy of execution and hope that our goal would somehow miraculously just happen or materialise. Thus, we...
- know what we want (have a specific objective),
- identify an opportunity & what resources to use (have a mission),
- also have some vague idea of how to go about it (some kind of strategy),
BUT... we fail miserably to meticulously plan our execution strategy for obtaining our objectives, and in doing so, fail to bring home the chicken. WHY?
We often arrogantly assume that once we know what we want, the rest of the strategy execution details, will automatically take care of itself. Remember that within a fowl house there are normally more than one "variation" of chicken, some fat, some healthy, some sick, some under nourish, ...etc. When we just jump in to "grab the nearest solution" - unless we are lucky - we will probably end up with nothing, sometimes a handful of feathers or some chicken that we prefer not to "eat". When you want to catch a chicken that you desire, you have to "target" the "variation of chicken" that you prefer, "lock" onto it like a guided missile and tactically move it in to corner and catch it.
This is what the chicken trap is all about.... we carefully plan everything (objectives, goals, opportunity, means and resources) but we tend not to pay enough attention to the TARGETED execution of our strategy (i.e. we lose FOCUS), because we assume that our strategy will be executed perfectly without us closely monitoring, evaluating and initiating corrective actions smartly.
|Thus, avoiding the chicken trap implies not only planning WHAT to do, but also formulating an efficient strategy for HOW to do it!|