If you have ever sat before an open fire and gazed into the flames you will see burning coals dance and move. Those are embers. They give off great heat. They are sought after to roast the best marshmallows. For me, sitting before an open fire can be hypnotic and calming. Outdoors on a summer night a campfire is a place where friends and family share jokes and stories, we sing songs (sometimes quite badly), and we recount good times. On a cool autumn day, or apres ski a crackling open fire sets the tone for rest and relaxation while warming us up.
It all sounds quite nice, but you may be asking "why name an advisory firm ember?"
According to Wikipedia, "an ember is a glowing, hot coal made of greatly heated wood, coal or other carbon based material that remain after, or sometimes precede a fire. Embers can glow very hot, sometimes as hot as the fire which created them. They radiate a substantial amount of heat long after the fire has been extinguished, and if not taken care of properly can rekindle a fire that is thought to be completely extinguished and can pose a fire hazard".
It struck me, while sitting by a campfire this past summer, that embers exist in our organizations in several ways:
- Embers can have those bright ideas that can be used to ignite new fire
- Sometimes our most valued people may be embers; some igniting new fires, some keeping the fire going long after the fire appears to be out
Do you have ideas and people in your organization who generate a substantial amount of heat but if not taken care of properly can pose a fire hazard?