Fish from the other side of the boat

Perhaps you know the biblical story about how Jesus comes upon a group of fishermen at the Sea of Galilee who aren’t having any luck catching fish.

After discovering their plight Jesus says to them: “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” And, as the story goes, when they try the other side of the boat they catch so many they can’t haul them all in.

Now the skeptical among us are likely quick to note that you have to be a pretty lousy fisherman to not figure this out for yourself. And you certainly don’t have to be a divine figure to come up with this rather obvious advice.

Yet despite my particular spiritual affiliation and general level of cynicism–spoiler alert: it’s high–I find the underlying message to be a strong one.

All too often, we get so stuck in habitual patterns that we fail to see the obvious. We return to the same practices and methods well past their point of effectiveness. We stay in relationships that, at best, aren’t growing and, at worst, cause unhappiness and resentment. We go back to the tried and true, because that’s what we’ve always done and it’s scary to let go and be willing to try something completely different.

It seems to me, sometimes we’ve had our line in the water in the same place for so long we don’t even notice we haven’t gotten any bites in a really long time.

HT to the Reverend Daniel Kanter for the sermon that inspired this post.




Author: stevenpdennis

Steven Dennis is a trusted advisor and thought-leader on customer-centric strategic growth and innovation. As President of SageBerry Consulting, he applies his C-level executive experience to drive growth and marketing strategy for multi-channel retail, e-commerce and luxury industry clients. He shares his ideas and wisdom regularly in the press, as an industry speaker and through his popular blog "Zen and the Art & Science of Customer-Centricity"( Prior to founding SageBerry, Steven was Senior Vice President of Strategy, Business Development and Marketing for the Neiman Marcus Group. As a member of the Executive Committee he drove the company's major growth initiatives, multi-channel marketing programs and customer insight agenda. Before joining Neiman Marcus, Steven held leadership positions with Sears, including Acting Chief Strategy Officer, Lands' End acquisition integration team leader, Vice President-Multichannel Integration and General Manager-Commercial Sales. Earlier in his career he was with NutraSweet and the global management strategy consulting firm, Booz & Co. Steven received his MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University. In addition to his consulting work, Steven is an executive-in-residence at the JC Penney Center for Retail Excellence at SMU’s Cox School of Business, President of the DFW Retail Executives Association and serves on the Advisory Boards of Invodo Inc. and Nectar Online Media. He is also active in the social innovation and education reform arena as a Partner and member of the Board of Directors of Dallas Social Venture Partners. He is currently co-leader of DSVP's investment and engagement with SMU's Center on Communities and Education "School Zone" initiative in West Dallas.

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