I still remember the first time I saw the movie, the “Wizard of Oz,” staring Judy Garland. About five minutes into the film, Dorothy sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” after failing to get her aunt and uncle to listen to her relate an unpleasant incident involving her dog, Toto, and the town spinster, Miss Gulch. Dorothy’s Aunt Em tells her to “find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble.” Doesn’t that sound and feel like the corporate agenda for the utility industry today?
This prompts Dorothy to walk off by herself, musing to Toto, “‘Some place where there isn’t any trouble.’ Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat, or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain…” at which point she begins singing the title song. Seems like the wish many in the utility industry seek these days.
Rainbows form a significant part of human culture. They occur frequently in mythology, and have been used in the arts. One of the earliest literary occurrences of a rainbow is in Genesis 9, as part of the Noah flood story, where it is a sign of God’s covenant to never again destroy life on earth with a global flood. The Irish leprechaun’s secret hiding place for his pot of gold is usually said to be at the end of the rainbow. It is interesting to read the litany of scientists and others who have tried since earliest times to explain the phenomenon.
This place is impossible to reach, because the rainbow is an optical effect which depends on the location of the viewer. When walking towards the end of a rainbow, it will appear to “move” farther away.
So, if your organization is still looking for the gold at the end of the rainbow, perhaps the ending of the movie sums it up best. It is right here, now and all around you. You just haven’t noticed.