April 28, 2013

KBAM: Shared goals, Shared Knowledge

There is one moral story that I remember coming across in my childhood, which highlights the message that unity is strength. I never thought that I would be sharing it here but I now feel that in many ways, it also points to the win-win culture of knowledge sharing.

"Once, an old man was very ill and lay dying in his bed. He had four sons who were al­ways fighting with each other. He always worried about them and wanted to teach them a lesson and asked his sons to come to him. When they came, the old man gave them a bundle of sticks and said, “Can you break these sticks?”

The first son tried to break the bundle but nothing hap­pened. He tried very hard and finally gave up. Then it was the turn of the second son to try his luck. He thought it would be an easy task and picked up the sticks easily. He tried his best to break the sticks but nothing happened. Then, the third son tried to break the bundle of sticks, but he couldn’t do anything either.

Meanwhile, the youngest son jeered at his brothers and thought they were very incom­petent. He thought he was very clever and took one stick at a time and easily broke all of them.

The old father then smiled at his sons and said, “Children, do you understand what hap­pened? It is always easy to break the sticks one by one. But when they are bundled to‑ gether, none of you could break them. In the same way. you four brothers should always be together. No one will be able to hurt you then.” The four brothers realised what their father was trying to teach them and forgot all their enmity and learnt that unity is strength.

From that day onwards, they never fought with each other and lived together in peace and harmony."


The message that organizations can learn from this story is that if they use the collective knowledge of all their workers, they can easily achieve the desired performance. To conclude, I really think that they can only truly achieve excellence when they live by the value of "shared goals, shared knowledge".


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