It was management guru Peter Drucker who said: “So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work”
This parable, which a colleague sent me, is a great illustration of this:
Or, if you haven't got time to see the presentation, here is the transcript
The Ant ... A Fable ... Or Maybe Not
Every day, a small ant arrives at work very early and starts work immediately.
She produces a lot and she is happy.
The Chief, a lion, was surprised to see that the ant was working without supervision.
He thought if the ant can produce so much without supervision, wouldn’t she produce even more if she had a supervisor!
So he recruited a cockroach who had extensive experience as supervisor and who was famous for writing excellent reports.
The cockroach’s first decision was to set up a clocking in attendance system.
He also needed a secretary to help him write and type his reports and …
... he recruited a spider, who managed the archives and monitored all phone calls.
The lion was delighted with the cockroach's reports and asked him to produce graphs to describe production rates and to analyse trends, so that he could use them for presentations at Board‘s meetings.
So the cockroach had to buy a new computer and a laser printer and ...
... recruited a fly to manage the IT department.
The ant, who had once been so productive and relaxed, hated this new plethora of paperwork and meetings which used up most of her time…!
The lion came to the conclusion that it was high time to nominate a person in charge of the department where the ant worked.
The position was given to the cicada, whose first decision was to buy a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his office.
The new person in charge, the cicada, also needed a computer and a personal assistant ,who he brought from his previous department, to help him prepare a Work and Budget Control Strategic Optimisation Plan …
The Department where the ant works is now a sad place, where nobody laughs anymore and everybody has become upset...
It was at that time that the cicada convinced the boss , the lion, of the absolute necessity to start a climatic study of the environment .
Having reviewed the charges for running the ant’s department , the lion found out that the production was much less than before.
So he recruited the owl , a prestigious and renowned consultant to carry out an audit and suggest solutions.
The owl spent three months in the department and came up with an enormous report , in several volumes, that concluded : “ The department is overstaffed ...”
Guess who the lion fires first?
The ant , of course, because she “showed lack of motivation and had a negative attitude".
Adapted from Portuguese by PR. Obrigado Mário.
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