Breaking out of thought prison

Breaking out of thought prison

The first QBB started off as it means to go on, by throwing some interesting spanners into the conventional business works. Taking as her headline, “Breaking out of Thought Prison”, business psychologist Mary Hykel Hunt began by highlighting the words and thoughts of some unique and unconventional thinkers in the business world, including those of Donald Winkler, erstwhile CEO of the Ford Credit Company. Winkler, well-known for his maverick but effective approaches to management, suggested way back that breaking out of boxed-in thinking involved “two opposite values … simultaneously at work [namely]:

A hard-headed fact-based realism. You’ve got to know what the realities are in terms of market trends, customer needs, resource constraints, and so on

Openness to fresh perspectives, free of bias, unrestrained by conventional wisdom.  You’ve got to operate in the realm of infinite possibilities.”

With that as an opener, anything then became possible.

And it did.

Mary then introduced the work and results of a scientist which, if accepted, has the potential to change how we think, not just about business, but our lives in general. Read on …

Peoc’h’s Chicks and the Power of Intention

If you’re sitting comfortably, we’ll begin ….

Once upon a time, there was a French scientist called Rene Peoc’h, who had some strange ideas about how consciousness might be able to influence things and events at a distance.

To test this out, he came up with a neat experiment using a small robot (programmed to move about randomly and to provide a trace print-out) and some newly-hatched chicks. On hatching, these chicks had been exposed to the robot, in order for them to become ‘imprinted’ onto the robot [1].

In the first part of the experiment, the little robot was set to trundle around in a room that was empty except for an empty cage over to one side:







As can be seen from the trace diagram, the robot moved quite randomly round the room, as would be expected.

In the second half of the experiment, Peoc’h placed the chicks he’d imprinted on the robot in the cage and then placed the robot in the room as before – with the following interesting result:



Yes, look again. This time, the robot stays in the half of the room where the chicks are, with some very dense trace print directly in front of the cage.

What does this suggest? Think about it: first condition, with no chicks, the robot does what you’d expect – trundle all over the place.  Second condition, chicks now in cage, and robot stays close to them.

Bearing in mind that the robot doesn’t possess consciousness and the chicks possess at least a rudimentary consciousness, it could be argued that the chicks are somehow able to cause the robot to move towards them and to keep it nearby. Forgive me for labouring the point: the chicks appear to be able to influence the robot’s behaviour.

On the face of it, there seems to be no other explanation for the difference in the robot’s actions in the two conditions. Mainstream science doesn’t accept this, arguing the experiment is flawed (without saying quite how or where) and it has been called a hoax.  But Peoc’h has replicated this experiment, with the same results. You can see a YouTube short about it at

Ok, so let’s dare to entertain the idea of infinite possibilities. If the chicks ARE doing this, the next question is how? It’s not unreasonable to argue that it could be through a powerful survival instinct. After all, as far as they’re concerned, the robot is Mummy, and instinctively they’re dependent on it. It’s to their advantage to keep Mummy nearby. However, if what seems to be happening here is real, the mechanisms by which it’s happening have yet to be uncovered.  But the repeat results of this experiment provide food for unusual thought, at the very least – enough to warrant continued study.

Interestingly, though, mainstream science keeps on ignoring the results of this experiment, and others like it, deeming them flawed or in pursuit of something that doesn’t exist. However, in the words of the inimitable Donald Rumsfeld, “Absence of evidence doesn’t mean evidence of absence.”

Peoc’h’s results seem to suggest that consciousness can influence things and events at a distance.  Note that it doesn’t seem to be just through any old random thought that passes through the mind, however. (Thank goodness. Imagine the chaos that would cause if it were so). It seems to have to be through powerful, deeply-held beliefs and feelings.  For those chicks, it was about survival.

Given the above, what if we dared to entertain the idea that what Peoc’h is pointing to just might be real? What might the implications be, for us humans, if this experiment reveals a real truth? If it turns out that chicks can influence objects like this, what might we humans be capable of? Indeed, what might we be actually doing already, every minute of every day, in our businesses and our daily lives?

Move over, Harry Potter. We might all be magicians … us and the chicks …


1. The phenomenon of imprinting was first discovered by scientist Konrad Lorenz, who discovered that chicks ‘imprint’ onto the very first thing they see on hatching – in other words, they regard it as ‘mother’ - and will follow it around – see below:










And if you’re interested in Peoc’h’s actual written thesis, go here:

Released On 15th Dec 2015

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