Fairy tale

A thought-pro­vok­ing new look at an old clas­sic

Finweek English Edition - - MANAGEMENT -

When­ever a new an­i­mated movie for kids comes out, I’m the f irst one there. Not be­cause I par­tic­u­larly like this genre, but be­cause I’ve got an eight-year-old and a seven-year-old who drag me there. It’s al­ways a pretty en­ter­tain­ing out­ing, even though the movie is clearly not aimed at me. This is no co­in­ci­dence – in fact, it’s part of the ge­nius of th­ese movies. The script works on two lev­els: the ba­sic level aimed at the kid­dies, and a more sub­tle, nu­anced level aimed at the par­ents. The pro­duc­ers know that par­ents in­evitably ac­com­pany their kids to the cin­ema, and so they de­lib­er­ately cre­ate an ex­pe­ri­ence for both.

The other night I was read­ing a bed­time story to my kids and I no­ticed ex­actly the same thing. It was the clas­sic fairy tale “The Em­peror’s New Clothes”, and I found that the essence of the story is more rel­e­vant to CEOs of large com­pa­nies than it is to young kids. So here is my slightly adapted ver­sion of the story (with apolo­gies to Hans Chris­tian An­der­sen).

Once upon a time, there l ived an em­peror named CEO who loved beau­ti­ful new clothes. He spent all his money on clothes and loved show­ing them off. He didn’t care much about his loyal sub­jects, as long as they pro­vided him with enough money to buy new out­fits.

One day, two con­sul­tants came to the em­peror’s city. They claimed to know how to make the finest cloth imag­in­able. The qual­ity was of the high­est stan­dard, and on top of that it had the amaz­ing prop­erty that it was in­vis­i­ble to any­one

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