I’m about to chat to a very early stage startup team and plan to use the expression but it dawned on me that it would be useful to unpack it into 3 parts.
1. Why bother herding cats at all? There are probably easier things to do, and which have a better chance of succeeding. The aim of herding these damn felines needs to be worth the bother, and agreed on.
2. It presumes there is a herder who is hell-bent on getting the job done even though it looks impossible sometimes. You can’t do that if you aren’t 100% committed, and certainly not as a committee. One team, one hard-nosed herder.
3. Are you just herding cats? Persians, Manx and Tabbies are fine, but not dogs and goldfish and snakes and wildebeest. In this context cats should be useful parts of the team otherwise why the hell are you bothering to herd them at all? Leave the rest behind. Sorry.
So worst case is there is no single herder, several non-cats in the team, and lack of commitment to the aims of the program.
I hope I’m wrong.