In Search of a Better World

In Search of a Better World
Soul Searcher

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The simple art of collaboration

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won the best "Corn Grower Award".  As the years passed it was observed that the
  • ·         Farmer was getting a better yield and continuing to improve the quality of corn
  • ·         Difference between the yield and quality of the award winning farmer and his neighbours was coming down and the neighbours were catching up
  • ·         The coming years would no longer be a one horse race
  • ·         Overall production from the area had more than doubled and the quality of corn had also improved significantly 
  • Researchers attributed it to the soil, rainfall and general climate but this did not satisfy one particularly persistent researcher who discovered that the award winning 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 researcher asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn."

This simple farmer had learnt and implemented the art of sharing much before the management gurus of the world started marketing “collaboration” as a strategic initiative.

If we are to germinate and implement good ideas we work with those around us to help them do the same as cross pollination of ideas leads to greater innovation. 

As it is with farming and business so it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbours to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

·         This is an anonymous story which I have adapted to suit the context of today.