A collaboration parable and 8 “C”s of teamwork

Reading Akhil Sharari, author of The Smart Entrepreneur, is entertaining and thought-provoking. First read this parable found on his About page.

There was a Saint who had a vision about what it was like in Hell & Heaven.

In Hell he saw a huge table laden with food in the centre. Surrounding the table were starving people who all had very long forks attached to the ends of their arms. They could stab the food, but the forks were too long for them to put the food in their mouths. They were all screaming in frustration as they tried to eat the food that they longed for.

In Heaven, the saint saw the exact same table laden with food & people with the long forks at the ends of their arms. However, here he people were all smiling & enjoying the food. What they were doing was stabbing the food & putting it in EACH OTHER’s mouths!

You don’t have to contemplate an afterlife to get the message of that story. We can all accomplish more by working together!

Elsewhere, Akhil identifies 5 key characteristics of effective teamwork – all beginning with the letter “C”.

  • Clear expectations: Each team member knows their role and expected contribution.
  • Channels of communication: Team members share openly with one another and the team fosters communication within the organization.
  • Conflict resolution: Team members work to resolve differences directly, with mutual respect.
  • Consequences: Team members are responsible for, and accountable to, one another.
  • Celebrating achievements: Team members jointly share in the team’s success.

I would add three more Cs to the list.

  • Coaching: Team members share insights and knowledge with one another to boost individual development.
  • Collaboration: Team members build on the efforts of one another to achieve objectives that would be unattainable alone.
  • Community: Team members develop bonds that lead to supporting each other both professionally and personally.

Visits Akhil’s website!

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3 Responses to A collaboration parable and 8 “C”s of teamwork

  1. Hi Blaine,

    thanks for your kind comments on my blog!

    I also agree with the three more ‘C’s you’ve added to facilitate greater teamwork. I see the need for collaboration & creating community within the organization getting more important as companies move to less hierarchical stuctures.

    I hope we continue with our conversations in future 🙂

    take care,


  2. Glad I found your blog Akhil.

    You offer a good reminder that the needs of organizations are undergoing big changes as they become flatter and move decision making closer to the teams that do the work.

  3. Daily Report, Mar 14

    Team Collaboration Microsoft Links Dynamics and SharePoint … Microsoft announced an integration option linking its Dynamics ERP solution with Microsoft Office and SharePoint, enabling users of Office and SharePoint to access data and reports in the D…

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