Whilst I have been working on my mini-hack as a part of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s HR hackathon, I’ve been thinking about the metaphors we create to help describe the ways organisations work. These are important because metaphors help us make sense of complex issues.

That said, there are some workplace metaphors that have been adopted that just don’t seem to be that useful or indeed work as metaphors. Take ‘war for talent’, for example. This metaphor is used to describe the process of finding and retaining great employees. It is about recruitment. Not war, fighting, killing.

I floated my thoughts on workplace metaphors at last week’s #ldconnect summer picnic. Luckily, I was sitting next to Peter Cook (aka @academyofrock) who shared his thoughts on metaphors (see video). Peter summed up metaphors rather neatly.

He also led me on to the work of Gareth Morgan, who created the ‘organisational metaphor’, according to Wikipedia.

I thought it would be good fun to list a few of the worst workplace metaphors, so if you want to share yours please head over to this shared document and add yours. Thanks in advance!