Beautiful was the grassland

April 3th, 2020

At the grassland, the termites were working hard. With their strong jaws, they were able to lift basically any burden. The nearby located bees happily buzzed around while doing their jobs. Close by, the crow, owner of both the termite colony and the bee nest, sat proudly watching from a great height. He did well. His bees produced the best honey of the grassland and his termites were perfect for all the heavy work that needed to be done. The future looked good for the crow. He had received a beautiful offer from his distant cousin. For a relatively small amount of money, the work of his bees could be outsourced to the bee nests his cousin kept on the other side of the water. The crow knew that his bees were all hard workers, but this way he could make more money. And he could probably use his best bees in other ways as well. 

From the cost saving that resulted from outsourcing the work of the bees, the crow had purchased new termite colonies on the other side of the water. At the grassland, only a few bees were left. Only the bees that were needed to plan the work for the bees on the other side of the water had remained. The crow was so proud of himself. His business was going well. Yet, he had realized that it could be even better. That’s why he hired his friend the spider to help him organize new efficient work processes. The cost of doing business at the grassland was too high to allow for inefficiencies. Now there was not a single redundant bee at the grassland left. Every bee had his own defined tasks and his own responsibility. The scorpions, that the crow had appointed on advice of the spider, made sure that the bees were properly leaded. And the cockroach oversaw the scorpions. The crow loved it. 

Things were going better than ever. Although the crow had recently received some complaints about the quality of the honey, he made more money than ever before. Besides, the crow had already figured out what needed to be done to resolve the complaints. The crow had noticed that there were major challenges in letting the bees, on the other side of the water, do exactly what needed to be done. Even though it was cheaper to hire these bee nests, the bees on the other side of the water were far away and had different customs. Therefore, they didn’t always fully understand what was expected of them. To resolve this problem, the crow hired his good acquaintance, the magpie. The magpie had a lot of experience in purchasing work on the other side of the water. The magpie told the crow that he needed a good contract to buy the right services. The first thing the magpie did, was defining every work process and record every possible problem that could occur within the defined work processes in great detail. According to the magpie, this was the only way the crow could ensure that every step of the work, performed on the side of the water, could be checked on. The magpie visited other crows to see how they organized their work. In addition, he hired his brother to make an analysis. The comparison and the analysis showed that the routes the bees flew, the number of flight the bees performed and the total time the bees flew, were determining factors in the amount and quality of honey that was produced. The magpie had to set targets for each of those three elements. Therefore, the exact flight routes that the bees had to take were determined, a minimum number of flights per bee was set and the minimum time each bee had to fly was established. These goals were included in the contract. 

A fine would have to be paid if these goals were not met. If the goals were met, honey production would improve and increase by itself. The organizational structure was also considered carefully by the magpie. The bees had to be divided in teams. Each team needed to get its own flight route. Just like on the grassland, scorpions needed to be appointed. Every team of bees would be leaded by a scorpion. Also, just like at the grassland, a cockroach had to be appointed to oversee the scorpions. This cockroach would report goal performance on a daily basis. In addition, a cockroach from the other side of the water would be sent to the grassland. This cockroach, who understood how things worked on the other side of the water, had to cooperate with the cockroach from the grassland to ensure that the cockroach on the other side of the water properly understood the wishes of the grassland. This was needed to ensure that the cockroach on the other side of the water could manage his scorpions efficiently. The magpie had worked for months to compile a thick and detailed contract that meticulously described all agreements and all costs. To be sure that everything was correct and complied with the rules that applied to the grassland, the crow had hired the cricket to check the contract. The crow’s cousin had also hired a cricket to study the contract. After long negotiations, the crow and his cousin were willing to sign the paperwork. The crow had to agree with a contract period of five years and an appropriate price increase. This was justified because his cousin had to make sure that the right cockroaches, the right scorpions and the right quantity of bees were appointed. This required a significant investment from his cousin. In addition, his cousin had to hire a spider to organize the work processes exactly according to the contract. 

A few years later, the crow’s feathers had turned white from worrying. Despite all his clever plans, honey production had not increased. Moreover, his reputations had started to crumble. He had always been known as a supplier of the best honey. Now he had lost several customers because they considered his honey to be of inferior quality. The daily reports, provided by the cockroaches, showed that the bees performed according to the agreed goals. The crow knew that this data was correct because he had made sure that every bee was equipped with a gps tracker. They all flew the routes they had to fly, they performed the correct number of flights, and they flew long enough. To improve things, the crow had replaced the cockroach from the grassland for a better cockroach. He had also gathered his scorpions and ordered them in clear language to let their bees make better plans. The crow was boggled. How could things go so wrong. Some bees from the grassland had questioned the crow’s choices. They had claimed that the targets which were described in the contract would never lead to large amounts of tasty honey. The crow had never heard such nonsense before. The bees had claimed that they had produced high quality honey in the past by adapting to the circumstances. They said that factors such as the weather, the time of day and the flowering period of plants were decisive for the routes they used to fly. And that these factors could never be captured as fixed targets in a contract. The crow was furious. Did these foolish bees really dare to claim that they knew better than the clever magpie he had hired? It was very disappointing. He always thought that these bees were hard workers. But apparently he had been mistaken. They were lazy and they didn’t have a constructive attitude. Fortunately, he had solved this problem. He had fired the bees that had contradicted him. In their place he had appointed new bees that did understand what needed to be done. In addition, he would soon hire the magpie again. The contract with his cousin would expire in just over a year. The magpie could already request for new offers. The total purchasing process would easily take a year. His cousin could make a new offer but he wanted the magpie to also ask other large bee nest holders, at the other side of the water, to make an offer. The crow was convinced that with his acquired knowledge, he knew what was needed. This time he could make a better design for the future. Things would certainly be better now.

This story is fictional. Any resemblance to persons, organizations or events is by chance.

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