Tiger or sheep?

Sheep painted with stripes to look like tigersRecent travel disruptions have given us an unrivalled opportunity to observe the human response to adversity on a grand scale.

When faced with a disruption to their travel plans, individuals fell roughly into one of two distinct groups:
Tigers or Sheep.

There were those who, when presented with cancelled flights and an indeterminate delay, took their destiny into their own hands: hiring cars and coaches; undertaking epic overland journeys; travelling via cargo ship; or simply deciding to create an extension to their holiday by going off and exploring something completely different.  For others, the solution was simply to wait and let someone else do the thinking and organising.  Passive by nature, it wasn’t up to them to solve the problem. 

The first group are our tigers, keen to manage their own destiny, anxious to make a change and a difference even if the end result is no different to what it would have been if they had let someone else take control.  The latter are the sheep, who really aren’t keen on making a decision or taking responsibility, they simply want everything to follow the path and plan that they bought into.

At events, it is really important to understand whether your audience is made up of tigers, sheep or a mixture of the two.  Where attendees are predominantly tigers, the onus needs to be on creating programmes which are self-determining, requiring action and consequence; with sheep a clearly defined itinerary with understandable pathways and careful management of expectations will lead to a successful conclusion.  Events that depend upon networking are more likely to appeal to the tigers; those with a tightly timetabled series of learning or experience based sessions will be more satisfying for the sheep.