Metaphors are essential tools for leaders to frame problems and communicate ideas. ALBRECHT ENDERS Professor of Strategy and Innovation Q&A →Leadership MORE THANPOETIC DEVICES: THE POWER OFMETAPHORS IN LEADERSHIP WHAT IS YOUR HOT TOPIC? Metaphors are far more than the poetic devices we learned about at school. Indeed, they are fundamental to cognition, they shape our assumptions, and help make abstract ideas easier for us to understand. For this reason, metaphors help leaders to make sense of the world and give sense to those they lead and influence. They are important for leaders to frame problems and communicate ideas. WHY DOES IT MATTER NOW? Because they are so ubiquitous in everyday language, with research suggesting that we use one metaphor every 25 seconds, they are rarely noticed, or thought about consciously. This means that most people are unaware of the role that metaphors play in thought and communication, as well as how they shape experience. It is important to develop awareness of metaphors and examine their implications for leadership and this awareness can be developed by exploring people’s naturally occurring metaphors. HEATHER CAIRNS-LEE Adjunct Professor of Leadership



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