Why is it that those closest to a situation seem to be the most immobilized, most stuck? They usually have the most at stake; they should have the highest level of interest. Yet, many newspapers, banks, telecommunications companies and others, almost seem to ignore the surrounding events and put their heads in the sand. One of the most enduring myths in the animal world is that the ostrich hides its head in the sand when faced with danger. Reality is that an ostrich actually has a greater set of possible responses than most in the animal kingdom when confronted with danger. The ostrich is built for running, its long, thick, powerful legs can cover great distances with little effort, and each individual stride can exceed 15 feet in length. Even its feet are designed for speed, with only two toes. The ostrich can sprint in short bursts at speeds that exceed 40 mph. When danger threatens, the ostrich can easily escape by running away. They are also quite capable of feverishly defending themselves by standing still, they have a 4-inch claw on each foot which can slash at any predator and they possess a powerful kicking ability that has the force to bend a 10 mm steel rod into right angle, deadly enough to kill a lion.
So where did the myth come from? While, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand, there are times when they flop to the ground and remain still. When nursing their eggs, if an ostrich senses danger and cannot run away, they will drop their head and neck flat on the ground in front of themselves. The color of the head and neck blend into the ground, making the ostrich look like it has buried its head in the sand. In the rippling haze of heat in their native Africa, this behavior causes them to look more like a grassy mound then an ostrich. Much like large institutions protecting their own creations, the ostrich is immobilized. This behavior has little to do with awareness and even less to do with abilities, than it does with agility. Often, those closest to the movement are so busy protecting and maintaining that they are immobilized to respond to opportunities. They are stuck. Size, scale and existing revenue streams inhibit mobility. Leaders would need to move resources away from proven businesses toward towards an unproven fringe movement.