Finding symmetries in an unsymmetrical world ..

The Roast Pig problem

Posted on: February 23, 2009

There is an interesting story in Chinese manuscript, that the Pig roast was accidentally discovered by people who for ages together had Raw pig meat.

The story as it happens was about a swine -herd, Ho-ti,who was out one day to collect mast for his hogs. While he was away his eldest son, Bo-bo , a great lubberly boy, who being fond of playing with fire, let some sparks escape into a bundle of straw, which kindling quickly, spread the conflagration over every part of their poor mansion, till it was reduced to ashes. Together with the cottage, nine pigs perished.

While he was thinking what he should say to his father, and wringing his hands over the smoking remnants of one of those untimely sufferers, an odour assailed his nostrils, unlike any scent which he had before experienced. Whilst this he burnt his finger and quickly put it in his mouth for a some soothing (as we do it till date!),and what he tasted was so delicious; that he surrendered himself to the pleasure.

When his father came, (of course he was furious!) he asked him to have the roasted pig, and aha it was a delight !

So much so that Ho-ti and Bo-bo burnt their house more often to surrender to the delicacy, but at the same keeping it a well guard secret amongst themselves.

The neigbours both surprised and curious of the frequent burn down, reported this, and HO-ti was tried in court. Ultimately, he demonstrated what a delicacy it was to the judje and he was let free.

But soon, the entire city was seen burning, for people would burn their houses to enjoy the Roast pig! Funny it may sound, but it is true ..


Now that we know the story, the context is “Are we burning our house” to find what is the source of problem , or how can we approach a solution?


In the book , Change Masters  By Rosabeth Moss Kanter, she touches upon various aspects of creativity and innovation .

The  prime being, are we burning down the house and approaching the problem in a round about way ?

Clearly, the Roast Pig problem would sound very trivial now, but back then insurance agents closed down !

Simple as it may sound, know, why you do what you do ,and only then can you do it better .


Here are 10 rules for stifling change from Rosabeth, just though of sharing with you.



I have a belief that all our dreams come true in this life alone, but ,sometimes, long after we have actually forgotten them.


1 Response to "The Roast Pig problem"

I agree, i think one of the most common problems.
Where we dont know the actual reason.
I sometime feel from my personal experience, its better to spend
more time and find out the actual reason than to temporarily fix the problem.But in today’s world where time dictates the proceedings the former one is losing its charm.

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