Leave a trail…

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.. RW Emerson.”

Easier said than done.

I recently started to use my new snowshoes.


AH.. I used to think this was a funny little activity to enjoy the scenery.

Yeah right.

This is a combat sport!!

At least when you walk in the freshly fallen snow on top of a thick icy crust. 

I did not remember walking in this kind of snow … maujaq the snow in which one sinks in Inuktitut.


Well, those modern snowshoes might be efficient and sleek, I cannot, for the life of me, remember sinking that deep with the old (and unwieldy) babiche snow shoes.



And when I say sink, I mean sink!

At least 20 cm each step. 

Therefore, I needed to pull back up my foot each time in order to advance. That short ride in the wood turned out to be a long and painful adventure.

Ok, ok … I AM getting old. But still…

In any case, once the pain was gone, I was ecstatic. This was fun!

And walking in the woods is always amazing.

Walking, and sinking, in the snowy woods is amazing ( and tiring!)

So I took a few photos.

And that quote by Emerson came back rushing at me…

” Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”



At first I was looking for a path, an easier path to finish my walk in the snow. And then I gave up and decided to simply enjoy the moment.

Not because I wanted to come back in a straight and shorter line…

No, really because walking where no snowshoe has ever walked IS fun.

It is an adventure…

It is risky (a tiny bit!)

And looking back to see the trail is … inspiring.


“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

It is more work…

…but more rewarding

It is risky…

…but more fun

It is really filled with uncertainty and it reminds us of what really surrounds us every day.


And along with every step, this afterthought, this guilty feeling that this trail that appeared where virgin snow once was, this trail forever changed the environment. 

In subtle ways, every step changes everything.

Simple steps, simple things eventually create a complex context … the basis of chaos theory. 

That branch I snapped when I walked on it below the layer of snow…

This other branch that snapped back on my forehead changed the way I put one foot in front of the next…

This simple walk in the snow showed me again a complex environment that I thought I could control. The red mark on my forehead showed me otherwise.

Let’s walk in the maujaq of our changing organizations.

Let’s be aware that anything we do has consequences beyond our field of awareness.

Let’s put our snowshoes and walk, plan our strategy, present our forecast and realize that a branch will eventually come out of nowhere to hit us in the forehead.

Hey, those snowshoes cost me a couple hundred bucks and have stimulated more thoughts and reflection than a lot of leadership conference I attended….

Let’s go back in the snow!

And leave a trail

Interested in pursuing this train of thought? Join us at the CROI, the Collectif de Réflexion sur l’Organisation Intelligente.

Registration here Www.Organisationintelligente.Com 

Photos credits : Yuurz Trooley

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