Ronny , the CEO of Company XYZ, was really disgusted as he came out of the meeting room. He desperately needed a smoke. He bumped into me in the cafeteria.
"Hey ! You look peaked ! All well ?"
"Hi Ananya ! God has sent you to me. I have to pour my woes ... and there cannot be a better person than you ..."
"Well ... here is my cup ... pour ... " I joked.
He did not smile.
"Ananya, there is constant back biting between the different function heads. The Operations managers tries to pull down the IT head, the IT head has differences with the HR Head, the Finance Head has problems with the Operations ... and it goes on ... No one loses a single chance to send out caustic remarks about each other. Sometimes it is subtle and sometimes it is blunt. I am really pissed off !
Why can't the heads go along with each other ? Will I be able to run my company like this? What will be the outcome ?
"Hmmm.. It is common in most of the organizations. And yes, the outcome is grave .... I am reminded of a tale from Panchatantra which will elucidate the point. "
"Yeah ...Panchantantra stories are ancient Indian fables, composed in the 3rd century BC, by Pandit Vishnu Sharma. They are stories on human behaviors, portrayed by animal characters.
"This is the story of a bird with two heads ... Just like your IT head, Finance Head and so on ... " I smiled.
Long, long ago, there lived a strange bird in a huge banyan tree. The tree stood beside a river. The strange bird had two heads, but only one stomach.
Once, while the bird was flying high in the sky, he saw an apple shaped fruit lying on the bank of the river. The bird swooped down, picked up the fruit and began to eat it. This was the most delicious fruit the bird had ever eaten.
As the bird had two heads, the other head protested, "I'm your brother head. Why don't you let me also eat this tasty fruit?"
The first head of the bird replied, "Shut up.You know that we've only one stomach. Whichever head eats, the fruit will go to the same stomach. So it doesn't matter as to which head eats it. Moreover, I'm the one who found this fruit. So I've the first right to eat it."
Hearing this, the other head became silent. But this kind of selfishness on the part of the first head pinched him very much. One day, while flying, the other head spotted a tree bearing poisonous fruits.
The other head immediately descended upon the tree and plucked a fruit from it.
"Please don't eat this poisonous fruit," cried the first head. "If you eat it, both of us will die, because we've a common stomach to digest it."
"Shut up!" shouted the other head. "Since I've plucked this fruit, I've every right to eat it."
The first head began to weep, but the other head didn't care. He wanted to take revenge. He ate the poisonous fruit. As a result both of them died.
"Hmm ... " Ronnie was thoughtful. "All the Heads in my company also have one stomach... and if I cannot control them , then all of us will die ... I have to do something ... !"
"Yes Ronnie ... Think of something fast so that you can save everybody ... !"