No Collaboration at Workplace? First, Fix the Victory Stand!

No Collaboration at Workplace? First, Fix the Victory Stand!

Everyone knows, most of the business results are from the team effort. Yet, the businesses try hard to assign the credit to one hero. To justify it there are enough management theories – like Bell curve, 80-20 rule.

The outcome? It just causes more fights, conflicts and stress. Many managers just shrug it off saying stress is normal. But my advise is to spend some time taking stress seriously.

Coming back to the habit of assigning one hero to the fruits of team work, it existed for long time. Ever since the beginning of the ‘corporate culture’. Bell curve is gone from public eye for the most part, though it exists. 80-20 rule will continue to be used and abused to discredit people.

What is the root cause?


Few days back, I went to my son’s school sports day. School ground was full of cheerful children. Track was all made and ready.


4 x 100 mtrs relay started. The teams ran. Some athletes faster and some yet to reach their top speed.


As always the one with best team work won.

Now the time for the felicitation. The winning teams walk towards the victory stand and here they come!

Only one small issue. Victory stand is made for one person to stand.


The students somehow shared the stand. Those who stood on the victory stand celebrated the most.


Somewhere… deep down.. it dawns upon that only one person gets to stand on top even while victory is the result of the team work. Initially they try to share as much as they can. Eventually they will give in and accept the reality that only one gets to stand on the victory stand.


After years of conditioning, these children come to corporate world. They are told to collaborate, again. How could we expect them to share the credit? We have subconsciously taught them that there can be only one hero!


We need to fix the victory stand first. The one who learns to share, is likely to bring sustainable results.

This is lot more important trait to develop than it would seem. I have seen how growing businesses struggle to scale up, just because of insecurities, non-collaboration and mistrust among the leaders. In the end, gains were far below the potential for the one who thought to be a winner.

Shaping young mind would be lot more effective than attempting it much later. This would be worth an attempt.

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6 years ago

Excellent article! I love the way you explained it with the example. Yes, if we let children to grow healthily, a healthy generation will be created.