I thought of relating this story for leaders who want to do something to improve Governance, but do not know their business or the little happy & productive ants in the company.
The story goes like this: Everyday, a small ant (the worker) arrives to work very early and starts work immediately, and as a worker she or he was very productive and very happy about his/her work. Until the day that the lion (the big boss) notices that the ant works without supervision, the lion then thought that if the ant can produce so much without supervision, wouldn’t he/she produce even more if he/she had a supervisor?
So the lion then recruited a cockroach who had extensive experience in being a supervisor and was very famous in writing excellent reports. The cockroach’s first agenda was to setup a clocking in the attendance system (to monitor tardiness), after which, the cockroach hired a secretary to help him write and type his report and also recruited a spider – who managed the archives and monitored all the phone calls made in the company. The boss lion was delighted with the cockroach’s reports and asked him to produce a graph to describe production rates and to analyze trends, so that the lion could use them for presentations at the Board Meeting. The cockroach then, needed to buy a new computer and a new laser printer to graph the report which he did at the expense of the company of course. Also he recruited a fly to manage the IT department.
The ant, who had once been so productive and relaxed , hated this plethora of paper work and meetings which used up most of his/her time.
The lion came to the conclusion that its time to find a operations lead for the department where the ant works since the department is growing. The position was given to the ladybug, whose first decision was to move into a spacious office and buy an ergonomic chair for the office. The new person in-charge, also needed a new computer and an assistant-who she brought from her previous department, to help with the work and do a cost optimization plan.
The department where the ant works is now a sad place, where no one laughs anymore and everybody is upset and stressed….. It was that time that the ladybug (dept manager) convinced the boss lion of the absolute necessity to start a climactic study of the company environment. Having reviewed the new cost for running the ant’s department, the lion found out that the production was less than compared to before. The ladybug was tasked with a study to suggest solutions. After 3 months, she came up with an enormous report, in several volumes, that concluded that the department is – OVERSTAFFED.
Guess who the Lion FIRES first?
The ant of course, because he showed “lack of motivation and had a negative attitude”……. The lion boss of-course will get his bonus for playing his part in governing!