Even a child can offer ideas for improvement

Once upon a time, a toy manufacturing company was
lagging behind and thus, several experts and consultants
were consulted for appropriate solutions. Subsequently, the
management concluded that marketing was not adequate and
needed improvement. The latest web technologies were
implemented along with a thrust in social networking
websites. An online store was inaugurated. Danglers at each
point-of-sale, banners, hoardings, and advertisements in
newspapers were also given. Yet, the actual sales were far
behind the projected figures. The management could not
understand that in spite of drastic improvements, in both
online and offline marketing, the sales did not improve.

At home, the owner of the company noticed that his
little daughter played with other toys, instead of the toys that
were manufactured by his company. When he asked his
daughter the reason for this, she replied that they break
easily. At that moment, the owner realized that the problem
was in the quality of the toys and not in marketing.

Thereafter, he improved the quality of the toys by
implementing updated toy manufacturing technology,
improved raw materials, and installing latest machines. The
quality of the toys improved and supported by active
marketing, which was already improved, the sales improved
dramatically.

Improved sales naturally pleased him, but it gave him
more pleasure to see that now, his little daughter also played
with the toys manufactured by his company.

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Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Improvement combines effectiveness with simplicity

Once upon a time, a king wanted his little daughter to
always step on such a ground, which was nicely carpeted. So,
he carpeted his entire palace, his parks, his roads, and all the
places of his large kingdom.

A wise man passed by the kingdom and was astonished
to see the strange sight. He asked the guards that why was
the entire kingdom carpeted?

The guards replied that the king wanted the little delicate
feet of the princess, to fall only on carpeted ground. The
wise man thought for a while and sought an audience with
the king.

When the wise man was summoned in front of the king,
the wise man said, “There is nothing greater than love, but
surely the princess may go out of the kingdom for
sightseeing. How would your majesty carpet the whole
world?”

The king replied, “I have been thinking about this and
have not yet found an answer.”

The wise man replied, “If she wears shoes whose soles
are made of carpet then wherever she would walk, her feet
would only fall on carpet. With carpet-soled shoes the whole
world would become carpeted for her.”

The king thanked the wise man and accordingly made
the princess wear carpet-soled shoes only.

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Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Assessment precedes improvement

Once upon a time, in a zoo, a baby camel asked her
mother camel, “Why do I have a hump?”

The mother camel replied, “To store fat.”

“Why do I need to store fat?”

“Because the desert is hot and plants are scarce.”

“Why do I have long legs?”

“So that you can move and run easily on the desert
sand.”

“Why are my eyelashes so long and why do my nostrils
close?”

“So that the desert sand do not get in your eyes and
nose.”

The baby camel thought for a while and said, “So I
belong to the desert?”

The mother camel answered, “Yes.”

The baby camel asked, “Then what am I doing in this
zoo?”

The mother camel answered, “In a zoo also, life is good.”

The baby camel said, “Our place is in the desert. Let’s go
to the desert.”

Facing extremely improbable and almost impossible
circumstances, yet somehow, the mother camel and the baby
camel were successful in reaching the desert, and living an
improved life.

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Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Improvements enable adapting to new situations

Once upon a time, a crow was thirsty and he found a
pitcher that had little water at its bottom. The crow started
dropping stones in the pitcher, due to which the water level
came up, and the crow was able to drink the water.

Thereafter, the crow traveled to a city. He was thirsty
and found a pitcher that had little water at its bottom. He
could not find any stones in a city, but he found a straw in a
garbage can. He picked up that straw in his beak, flew to the
pitcher, dipped the straw inside and drank the water through
the straw.

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Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Workers can offer guidance for improving the work

Once upon a time, the production was falling behind
schedule and the production manager was worried. He had a
college degree and had implemented several theories to
increase the rate of production, however it had increased
only marginally. He was not able to figure out how to
increase the rate of production at the desired level.

In deep thought, he came out of his home to go to the
factory and while going only a block, his car got a flat tire. As
he was getting late, he left the car and took a cab. He told
the cabbie to take him to the factory in the shortest time
possible.

The cabbie drove the cab in such a way, which did not
break the traffic rules, did not cross the speed limits, did not
offend other drivers, did not even once use the horn,
avoided traffic snarls by taking shortcuts, and was successful
in reaching the factory in thirty minutes. To reach the
factory, the production manager took at least an hour in his
own car. Amazed at the driving skills of the cabbie, he asked,
“How did you learn to drive like this?” The cabbie modestly
replied, “This is what I have been doing for twenty years.”

After paying a generous tip to the cabbie, the
production manager approached the workers, who had been
working for a long time at the factory. He asked the workers
how to improve the production rate. They came up with
suggestions and he implemented them. The production rate
improved significantly and the production reached the
desired level.

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