January 23

Cross Functional Collaboration

An Excellent example of Cross functional Collaboration.

There was a farmer who grew superior quality, award-winning corn in his farm. Each year, he entered his corn in the state fair where it won honours and Prizes.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew his corn. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbours.

"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" The reporter asked.

"Why brother" the farmer replied, "Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen grains from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior, sub-standard and poor quality corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I have to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours to grow good corns."

The farmer gave a superb insight into the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbour’s corn also improves. So it is in the other dimensions and areas of life!

Those who choose to be in harmony must help their neighbours and colleagues to be at peace. Those who choose to live well must help others live well. The value of a life is not measured by how long one lived it is measured by how many lives it touches.

Lessons to Learn from this Story:

Success does not happen in isolation, it is most often a participatory and collective process. So share the good practices, ideas and new knowledge with your team members and colleagues.

January 18

Sile Rahm: The Best Art Of Forgiveness

Subject: THE CARPENTER

image001Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side-by-side, sharing machinery and trading labour and goods as needed without a hitch.

Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference and finally, it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. "I ‘m looking for a few days’ work," he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?"

"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbour. In fact, it’s my younger brother! Last week there was a meadow between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us.  Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence an 8-foot fence — so I won’t need to see his place or his face anymore."

The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you."

The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day — measuring, sawing and nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.

The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all.

image002It was a bridge .. A bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all! And the neighbour, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched..

"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done."

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in middle, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder.

"No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.

"I’d love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but I have many more bridges to build."