Success Recipe: Add Bacon to Eggs

Go Lean Commentary

 CU Blog - Success Recipe - Add Bacon to Eggs - Photo 2

Question: In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, what’s the difference between the Chicken and the Pig?
Answer: The Chicken is involved, but the Pig is committed!

The book Go Lean…Caribbean opens (Page 5) with the acknowledgement that despite having the “greatest address in the world”… the people of the Caribbean have no commitment, shared or National Sacrifice in support of their beautiful homelands.

This term National Sacrifice was introduced in a previous blog, and defined as the willingness to die for a greater cause; think “King/Queen and Country”. The blog/commentary posits that this spirit is currently missing in the recipe for fomenting the Caribbean homeland. This despite the fact that no one is being called on to “die”, but rather to simply live-work-play in their homeland.

The publishers of the Go Lean book wants to forge change in the Caribbean; they want to change the attitude of commitment for the entire community, country and region. This is not a wild fantasy as this has been done before in the US during WW II. But the Caribbean region has an alarmingly high societal abandonment rate, where 70% of college educated population in the English states have left in a brain drain, while the US territories have lost more than 50% of their overall populations.

Surely there is no debate that Caribbean people’s commitment to their homeland is lacking. Consider more fully the Chicken-Pig fable here:

Encyclopedic Referenced Source
Title: The Chicken and the Pig
The fable of The Chicken and the Pig is about commitment to a project or cause. When producing a dish made of ham and eggs, the pig provides the ham which requires his sacrifice and the chicken provides the eggs which are not difficult to produce. Thus the pig is really committed in that dish while the chicken is only involved, yet both are needed to produce the dish.

The fable of the Chicken and the Pig is used to illustrate the differing levels of project stakeholders involved in a project. The basic fable runs:[1]

  • A Pig and a Chicken are walking down the road.
    The Chicken says: “Hey Pig, I was thinking we should open a restaurant!”
    Pig replies: “Hmmm, maybe, what would we call it?”
    The Chicken responds: “How about ‘ham-n-eggs’?”
    The Pig thinks for a moment and says: “No thanks. I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved!”

Logically, this story/fable is at times presented as a riddle.

Interpretation and lessons
The fable has been used mostly in contexts where a strong team is needed for success, like in sports or in “Agile Software Development”*.

Agile Project Management
The fable was[2] referenced to define two types of project members by the Scrum Agile Management System:[3] pigs, who are totally committed to the project and accountable for its outcome, and chickens, who consult on the project and are informed of its progress. By extension, a rooster or gamecock, can be defined as a person who struts around offering uninformed, unhelpful opinions. This analogy is based upon the pig being able to provide bacon (a sacrificial offering, for which the pig must die in order to provide) versus a chicken which provides eggs (non-sacrificial).

For a Scrum project the Scrum Master and Team are considered as people who are committed to the project while customers and executive management are considered as involved but not committed to the project.

As of 2011, the fable has been removed from the official Scrum process.[4]

The fable also is used as an analogy for levels of commitment to a game, team, etc. For example, variations of this quote have been attributed to football coach Mike Leach who said, on the officials in the 2007 Tech-Texas game in Austin: “It’s a little like breakfast; you eat ham and eggs. As coaches and players, we’re like the ham. You see, the chicken’s involved but the pig’s committed. We’re like the pig, they’re like the chicken. They’re involved, but everything we have rides on this.”[5]
Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia – Retrieved 01-25-2014 –


* Agile Software Development (Scrum) – a group of software development methods in which requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, continuous improvement, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU); a confederation to bring change and empowerment, to the Caribbean region; to make the region a better place to live, work and play for all stakeholders (residents, visitors, businesses, and institutions).

This quest relates a commitment so vital to a community that everyone should be willing to sacrifice and lean-in for the desired outcome. This shared sacrifice was previously advocated in Bermuda (one of the 30 member-states) in the following editorial/commentary:

News Article Title: The fallacy of Bermuda’s shared sacrifice
By: Anthony Richardson, Guest Columnist
Bacon and Egg in a Cast Iron Frying PanBermudians often latch on to catch phrases and before long there is a unique Bermudian variation or the phrase is taken out of context.  A recent incarnation is the notion of ‘shared sacrifice’.

To help explain the correct context, I had to search the recesses of my mind and ask several friends.  And then I found the answer… the fable of the Chicken and the Pig dating back to 1950.

If you think the sacrifice is shared, try asking the pigs after breakfast!!

As a typical Bermudian, I want to add my own variation to the fable:

  • There was a sick farmer who needed eggs, bacon and milk to survive.
    All the farm animals got the chance to decide whether or not the farmer would get his breakfast.
    The cows and chickens spoke first — milk and eggs… no problem.
    Then some of the other animals spoke – the farmer should try just eggs and milk.
    Others — what will happen if he dies?  The goats spoke — we will provide milk if needed.  The turkeys spoke — are we sure he is sick, did he get a second opinion, has he been sick before, what caused the sickness; provide the bacon so he can get better!!
    The donkeys tried to speak but were shouted down.
    Next the pigs spoke – we understand that the farmer is sick. How much bacon is needed? We will provide it if absolutely necessary.  Our only request is to meet privately to decide how we will provide the bacon!!
    Then the farmer spoke.  I am getting worse, please hurry up and decide.
    He noticed a small group of animals standing aside and asked what they thought. They were speaking quietly. Apparently brain storming, conducting focus groups, talking to the elder animals and doing some online research. After a brief pause, they said we have at least one ‘outside the box’ suggestion. Is turkey bacon an option!!
    The turkeys were completely stunned and ran for the barn.

Bermuda’s lessons:

• There is no dispute that the farmer is sick (Bermuda will run out of cash) but not unto death (Bermuda will not go bankrupt). Any new borrowing will be expensive.

• The proposed sacrifice for the pigs, chickens, cows and other animals are not shared equally (public service salaries, government programmes, parliamentary salaries and the private sector).

• Do not shout down the donkeys; listen to the quiet observers and consider all options — genuine shared sacrifices… involve the community in the solution (OBA, PLP, employers, grocers, IB, banks, BELCo etc).

• There are some turkeys amongst us (lots to say until we realize the need for personal sacrifices equal to the pigs).

• The farmer’s good health is critical to the survival of the farm.

What kind of animal are you?  Chicken, Cow, Pig, Goat, Donkey, Turkey or general farm animal?

I repeat my recommendation for Premier Cannonier and PLP Leader MP Bean to jointly chair the Tripartite Economic Committee (‘The TEC’) arising from Public Employees’ salary negotiations.

Turkey bacon anyone?!
Bermuda Sun Daily Newspaper – Posted 10-25-2013; Retrieved 01-25-2014 –

This Go Lean roadmap is realistic as to reasons why people have left their homeland: the Caribbean is in crisis. The book details that there is something wrong in the homeland, that while it is the greatest address in the world, instead of the world “beating a path” to these doors, the people of the Caribbean have “beat down their doors” to get out, this is due mainly to the lack of economic opportunities. The Caribbean nations must expand and optimize their economic landscape to offer more opportunities to their citizens, especially the youth.

So the purpose of the Go Lean book/roadmap is more than just the embedding of new community ethos, but rather the elevation/empowerment of Caribbean society. In total, the Caribbean empowerment roadmap has 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance and industrial policies to support these engines.

The roadmap details the following community ethos, plus the execution of these strategies, tactics, implementation and advocacies to forge permanent change of commitment and shared sacrifice for the homelands in the region:

Definition – Lean in Business / Production / Service Delivery Page 4
Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Choose Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic   Principles – People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic   Principles – The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact a Turn-Around Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness Page 36
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederate 30 Member-States Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Enact a Defense Pact to Defend the Homeland Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Keep the next generation at home Page 46
Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation-of-Powers Between CU & Member-States Governments Page 71
Anecdote – “Lean” in Government Improvement Process Page 93
Implementation – Assemble – Incorporating all the existing regional   organizations Page 96
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Security Initiatives at Start-up Page 103
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean – Confederation Without Sovereignty Page 127
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Planning – Lessons Learned from the West Indies Federation – Lack of Popular Support Page 135
Planning – Ways to Measure Progress and Correct Course – Six Sigma   Quality Delivery Process Page 147
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Communications Page 186
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Youth Page 227
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Sports – Community Commitment and Oversight Page 229

Previously Go Lean blog/commentaries have considered repercussions and consequences of good and bad community ethos. The following sample applies: ‘Change the way you see the world; you change the world you see’ National Sacrifice – The Missing Ingredient Bad Ethos: No Fear of Failure – Case Study: Bahamasair Bad Ethos: Jamaica’s Public Pension Under-funded A Lesson in Bad Community Ethos: East Berlin/Germany A Lesson in History: Community Ethos of WW II Sports Role Model – Fully Committed US versus the World Philadelphia Freedom – A Community Ethos Only at the Precipice, Do Communities Change Book Review: ‘Wrong – Nine Economic Policy Disasters and What We Can Learn…’ 10 Things We Want from the US – # 10:   Sports Professionalism Egalitarianism versus Anarchism – Community Ethos Debate

The purpose of this subject is more than sacrifice, it also relates to delivery. The Go Lean roadmap details the turn-by-turn deliveries over a 5-year period. The right people and process must be engaged to deliver on time, within budget and with a measurable quality. This area of technocratic delivery – project management – also requires a commitment from stakeholders and not just involvement. This point has been elaborated in this VIDEO here:

VIDEO 1: Commit Like a Pig –

[Edited Dec 6, 2016] Published on Jun 21, 2015 – Commitment and trust are the backbone of all organization. Commitment is like the bacon in an egg and bacon breakfast, the chicken was involved, but the pig was committed!

This commentary therefore also focuses on the art and science of Group Work. The Go Lean roadmap calls for the strategy of a confederation of all 30 Caribbean member-states. The structure allows for a full commitment by all states and communities. There is no re-distribution of the region’s economic pie, but rather the creation of a new pie, that is then shared and promoted for the Greater Good of all regional citizens. The tactical approach calls for 2 pies, a separation-of-powers between this CU Federal agencies – the new pie – and existing member-states. The roles/responsibilities assumed by the CU pose no conflict with the states; for example Air Traffic Control or Meteorological & Geological Administrations. This CU structure will require a commitment, shared and national sacrifice.

The lack of commitment/sacrifice was the flaw in the previous regional integration movement, in particular the West Indies Federation, circa 1958 – 1962. According to the Go Lean book (Page 135) that ill-fated Federation only had luke-warm acquiescence from it’s 10 member-states; no one wanted to sacrifice or dedicate their time, talent or treasuries to the cause of regional integration. As a result the West Indies nation-states carried on alone. Now after 50 years, the learned-lessons and conclusion is that the region could have been much more successful than the current failed or failing dispositions.

Is this too harsh a criticism? Refer back to the societal abandonment rate. Not only are West Indian people not willing to die for their country, they are not even willing to live for their country … or in their country.

Time now for a re-boot and remediation! Let’s try this (regional integration) again. This time, we try “pork-esque” commitments, rather than a “chicken-esque” involvement.

CU Blog - Success Recipe - Add Bacon to Eggs - Photo 3

All in all, there is a certain community ethos associated with populations that have endured change. That ethos involves commitment more so than involvement. As for the publishers of the Go Lean…Caribbean book and those inclusive in this movement, here is our declaration: “We are Pigs”!  For the chicken in that “bacon and eggs” fable, it only takes some involvement to just lay the eggs; but it takes total committment for the pig to provide bacon as there is no going back!

VIDEO 2: Chicken or Pig? A Self-Empowerment Story –

Published on Jun 4, 2012 – Self-empowerment equals success and to be fully self-empowered, you need to be fully committed to living your purpose. Discover the power of your purpose today and find out if you’re the chicken or the pig in your life story.

Now is the time to lean-in, full commitment and “present some bacon”, to this roadmap for Caribbean change, as depicted in the book Go Lean…Caribbean. All the mitigations and empowerments in this roadmap require people and institutions to fully commit.

Oink-oink 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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