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• Employee "A" in a company walked up to his manager and asked what my job is for the day?

• The manager took "A" to the bank of a river and asked him to cross the river and reach the other side of the bank and bring the box back in less than an hour without using the bridge.

• "A" completed this task successfully by taking a shared boat for Rs 10 and reported back to the manager about the completion of the task assigned in 55 minutes. The manager smiled and said "GOOD JOB"

• Next day Employee "B" reported to the same manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task as above to this person also.

• The Employee "B' before starting the task saw Employee "C" struggling in the river to reach the other side of the bank. He realized "C" has the same task.

• Now "B" hired a motoscooter for Rs 50 and crossed the river and also took "C" along.

• "B" reported back to the manager that they did the job in 30 minutes and the manager smiled and said "VERY GOOD JOB"

The following day Employee "Q" reported to the same manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task again.

• Employee "Q" before starting the work did some home work and realized "A", "B" & "C" all has done this task before. He met them and understood how they performed (time spent 2 hours).

• He realized that there is a need for Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for doing this task as there was huge time and money variations.

• He sat down and wrote down the detailed SOP for crossing the river, he documented the common mistakes people made, various means of achieving the tasks, and tricks to do the task efficiently, within budget (Rs 25) and on time (max time spent 1 hour) (time spent – 4 hours).

• Using the SOP he had written down he crossed the river and reported back to the manager along with SOP material.

• The manger said "Q" you have done an "EXCELLENT JOB".

The following day Employee "O' reported to the manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task again.

"O" studied the SOP written down by "Q" and sat and thought about the whole task (5 minutes).

He realized company is spending a lot of money in sending the person over when they can just ask the boatman to bring the box. He decided not to cross the river, negotiated with the boatman who agreed to do the same for Rs 2, sat down and enjoyed his beer while the boatman brought his box in the assigned time. He went back to his manager and said, "You no longer need to assign this task to any one, boatman will deliver it to us for Rs 2 everyday".

The manager smiled and said "Outstanding job 'O'. I am very proud of you."

What is the difference between A, B, Q & O????????

Many a times in life we get tasks to be done at home, at office, at play.,

Most of us end up doing what is expected out of us. Do we feel happy? Most probably yes.

We would be often disappointed when the recognition is not meeting our expectation.

Let us compare ourselves with "B". From a company point of view "B" has saved time but spent huge money on something that was not critical. While he achieved the task in 50% time of the assigned task, he was focused on the task and not on the relevance of it.

"Q" created knowledge base and more paperwork for the team. More often than not, huge procedures, timelines and methods exist without questioning the rationale. This knowledge creation for the team is of immense help but always needs to be preceded by the question WHY??? Something that we forget as we blindly follow and try and standardize a task that can be eliminated or more efficiently performed in a different manner..

Now to the outstanding person, "O" made the task, what it was anyway, irrelevant; he created a Permanent Asset to the organization, freeing up precious time for more useful work – saved time (full one hour eliminated) and money (only spending Rs 2) too.

If you notice B, Q and O all have demonstrated "team spirit" over and above individual performance; also they have demonstrated a very invaluable characteristic known as "INITIATIVE".

Initiative pays of every where whether at work or at personal life. If you put initiative you will succeed. Initiative is a continual process and it never ends. This is because this year's achievement is next year's task. You cannot use the same success story every year.

Out-of-Box thinkers are always premium and that is what every one constantly looks out for. Initiative, Out-of-Box thinking and commitment are the stepping stone to success.

Initiative should be lifelong. Think of out of the box

The take on the story is that nowhere in the story is the rationale for crossing the river is mentioned. If the manager is doing it just for fun or to keep the people engaged or to do a menial task, then making a bridge for the same is highly unjustified and pure waste of precious resources!!

Accordingly I have taken the liberty of adapting the story a little. Hope you like it.

Nice posting, i like it, but does all this bring to mind the different steps to enhancing the way a job should be done. A did it on his own, B and C did it together Q was bale to delve into their experiences and writing the procedures, which helped O to do the Job outstanding.
all these are important for development of a job - this is called may be correct me if i am wrong, but the evolution to development of work. we may take the example of a brick-layer, in the beginning cement were mixed by hand may be, then tools were available and now you think about it.
thank you nice story though i love it
That was a good way to bring home the lesson . I totally agree we are not thinking out of the box ...... be a magician to see what the world cannot see ... OUT OF THE BOX !!
Col Ronnie chhibber
The story is nice. I would say, person O has done the best of all just because he got an opportunity to analyse the previous job done by others. SOP helped him a lot ??? Thanks Padmaja
this is master piece. i really like this. this is great. thanks for sharing with us and tell us the wisdom.
because i did not take anything free so i am sharing my link with you. in this like where you find 12 pages full of downloadable ebooks and audio download. and whatever you like it please download it.
thanks once again for sharing this master piece.
janet smith
Good One and that is why I am appreciating your good work.
It is very important to appreciate a member when he has taken the time to post something on this site.
It will encourage him/her to post more stuff.
Great job.
Shows the importance of Out of Box thinking, instead of just following the seniors. Ganesh P
Dear Sir
The story was very nice and it enabled me to think the importance of out of box thinking.Thank you very much and I regularly follow your articles,which are very essentials for life.
This story based on the normal procedure in achieving any task.
"A" was the first person to perform the task and "O" was the fifth person. Main task was done by "Q" and entitled by "O".
actually "Q" took initiative and "O" used it wisely.
Some how its Good Story !
Hi Peer Mohamed, Very nice story to think of out of the box always; and this moral helps not only the organization as well as the individual career achievements. Good postings and keep it up.
Dear All,

As always this post is by Mr Peer Mohammed, a very regular contributor to this site. I have not used the word STORY, every one has commented on it as STORY. I am sure all those who are member of this site are working people. It is a big lesson for all managers, all staff.

One of the responsibilities of a manager, a major responsibility is to motivate and get the best out of each of his team member, he is also responsible to analyse each and every member of the team and grade each one of them how they perform. He is also responsible to streamline each and every process so that work gets done in time, in the best possible manner, no wastage of funds, or rather at minimum cost to the company, money saved I believe is profit to the company, and profit is what is shared with the employee as increments and bonus, he is also responsible to improve the working conditions, in this post by Peer Sahib, he has brought out all the lessons in a beautiful manner.
Now if each of our managers is like this person and each employee is like Q and O or even B and C then the manager has done what, he has been able to get his team to think of solutions, each one of them did their bit, each one gets appreciated for his ingenuity, the employee is happy for appreciation, the manager is happy for getting the work done in time and a streamlined manner, the management would have been happy for saved man hours, and preventing cost over runs.
It was beautiful indeed and I am sure the trainers would use this in their training programmes.

Thanking you very much Peer Sahib

Regards.....Col L S Chadha
Its a nice one.
This is for argument sake:
My doubt is, If 'O' could do that, if he is sent first.
I believe, all organization should have thinkers as well as doers for better performance.
I frame it for e.g.,
A & C being Employee (Does the Job)
B being Team Leader (He brings C along with him, when he comes back)
Q being Process Consultant (bringing in Process) and
O being Manager (thinks out of box based on his own & others experience).
Like it?
Its very inspirational not only for corparation and also in personal life. We think of many things. but hard to implemnt. Thinking and impleamenting is only achieving success. Appreciate your sharing
Sir, Another good one from you(the earlier one was on Talent PPT). An excellent story on cost saving initiatives. Let me tell you Sir you are a premium to this CITEHR blog. Cheers, Binny
Dear Mr. Sardhar, I have prepared a presentation on adapting the story posted by you. Now "Sharing what is shared with me " vbalu

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Hey... Excellent’s a moral with lots of system implementation. U have covered Quality Management system, Time Management, Finance management, CAPA etc ;-) first story to read as a new member...good start..i really appreciate this..tnx!!! Iss — -
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