The Pencil Metaphor

November 17, 2020by Faber Infinite

There are three kinds of people – a small group who makes things happen, a larger group who watches things happen and a greater majority who does not even know what is happening. This Transformation Tuesday lets us look at the pencil metaphor. In this metaphor we identify six different types of people in the organization adapted from the pencil metaphor:


These are the first ones to take on any new thing be it a challenge or any change in the organization. They are the early adaptors who are the first to adapt and document the process and then share it with the teams.

Sharp Ones

These are those who keep watching the leaders, grab the best from them, learn from their mistakes and do great stuff with their teams.

The wood

These are those people in the organization who need a push. Someone needs to gear them up. All they need is some help from an expert and then they will do it all alone.

The Dead Wood

This is that part of the pencil that can never be sharpened. Even the point is sharp meaning however good is the leader, this part of the pencil can only do basic tasks.


These are those kinds of people who all the right terminologies, who attend all the training and seminars but just do not actually do anything.

The Ferrules

These are those people who hold tightly to what they know. They are not ready to change or adapt to anything new.

The Erasers

This is used to undo as much if not all the work is done by the leaders.

I agree we should focus more on the people in the wood and push them to do better. There are employees who belong to different categories as per the above classification. This metaphor can be applied to anyone be it, students or employees, in the organization.

Image and article source – Teach Thought

by Faber Infinite

Faber Infinite is an International Business Management Consulting Organization offering consulting solutions and services for Increase Profitability in Business.

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