The Story Of The ‘Super Chickens’ And What It Can Teach Us.

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The pecking order is over. It may seem unlikely that we can have profound shifts in organizational thinking from watching a bunch of chickens… but, as it turns out that’s exactly what has happened. Organizations are often run according to “the superchicken model,” where the value is placed on star employees who outperform others. Using this model, scientists at Purdue University set out to build a flock of successful chickens by selectively breeding the best of the flock. “What should have amounted to a breed of “super chickens” turned out to be a lesson in the world around us. The “super chicken” flock ended up with only three living birds—the unfortunate result of the chickens killing each other off—while the original, “average” flock ended up thriving, plump and healthy. It turned out that the success of the “super chickens” was only found by eliminating the competition, and not by working together—that was the flock’s downfall.”

In her TED talk, business leader Margaret Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion — built every coffee break, every time one team member asks another for help — that leads over time to great results. It’s a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and how relationships ultimately drive what it means to be a leader.

Image: c.buyoly.com

In : LEADERSHIP

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