How effectively does it make the point about resisting change?

The chief financial officer (CFO) of a large company was preparing a presentation in which he intended to introduce a series of new procedures to the accounting staff. He searched for an effective way of describing the pitfalls of corporate resistance to new ideas and ultimately came up with this analogy: In 1888, a group of pioneers traveling in wagons was crossing the Pecos River from New Mexico to Texas. At the crossing, an enterprising young man waited with a team of mules to help people across. He explained, “The bottom of the river has soft sand and you’ll likely get stuck. For one dollar, I’ll pull you across.” The family in the first wagon paid the dollar and was helped successfully across. When the second wagon approached, the family scoffed at the young man and declared confidently that their horses could cross the river unassisted. To their chagrin, they got stuck. The young man, still nearby, got them free and pulled them the rest of the way across. But the charge was five dollars. And so, let’s recognize that in the short run, we may save a dollar, but in the long run, our failure to accept innovation may cost us the company! What are the two things being compared in this analogy? How effectively does it make the point about resisting change?

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