Where is your money?

I´ve done a number of things in my life, from being a boy scout to a CEO to manually arranging bowling pins (pin setting was a popular job in my childhood, but automation spoiled my promising career) to an artisan selling bracelets on the beaches of Barcelona to a university professor to a poet to a goalkeeper. Not exactly in that order.

One of the things I enjoyed most was being an actor. It was more of a hobby than anything else, but I did appear in some short movies and a few live events. I took a lot of acting classes with probably one of the best teachers in town, Boris Rotenstein, a genial Russian director who lives in Barcelona. (If you´ve never tried interpretation, I would venture to suggest that you try it–beyond being fun, it could be a surprising journey of self discovery and improvement.)

One time, Boris told us a true story about his guru, the worldwide acclaimed Constantin Stanislavski, creator of the famous method named after him. Constantin was doing improvisation exercises with his apprentices: the plot was that they were in a bank, and suddenly the bank was catching fire.

One of the students did something very strange. Instead of screaming and panicking like the others, he just stared at the scene from the distance, emotionless and utterly unaffected.

So the teacher inquired him after the exercise.

Stanislavski: “That was interesting. But I did not get it. What the hell was that?”

Student: “Well, you know, my money is not in that bank.”

The professor got very upset.

Stanislavski: “No! That’s wrong. When you are acting, your money is always in that bank.”

In life, sometimes we also have a tendency to look at things as if they were not really affecting us, as if we were watching a movie. But we are the stars of the movie. Whatever happens, it affects us. Our money is always in that bank.

Maybe you, as a CIO or CIO-in-the-making feel that you are not affected by problems in other areas; maybe you think that your colleagues’ problems are just theirs. But you are all in the same boat.

This is the beauty of Visibility. As it is a holistic view, it makes it very clear that the big picture is what matters. And it matters much more than dozens of small, isolated pictures. As it should.

So stop acting detached. There is a fire somewhere, and someone needs you. You can help. You must help. If that bank catches fire somewhere, it is your wealth that´s at risk. And your money is always in that bank, remember?

6 thoughts on “Where is your money?

  1. Hey Raul! Joe Baumgarrrrrrrten here! Great new blog!

    Unfortunately, this story doesn’t work here in the States. Here, if your bank loses all its money, no worries, the Government is there to bail you out 🙂

    But maybe that’s the second lesson of the day: don’t sit back thinking that someone will come and save you!

  2. Great post Raul! I like very much the story and the holistic approach that applies far ahead to human and organization systems and much more… revealing the individual and collective responsibilities in Business and Life. Sometimes I look at technology as a metaphor of how life works, what is trying to emerge…. 🙂
    Oh by the way I came to your post because a friend in France forwarded to me 🙂

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