Cooperation without coordination will not make our pants fit

It is easy to get cooperation, but more difficult to get coordination.

August Bruski had a wife and a bright boy of 14 and an older daughter. The peace of the little family was almost wrecked over their willingness to cooperate and their failure to coordinate their efforts. The son won a place on the commencement program of his school. He knew his speech perfectly. The family was proud and happy until the night before the great day when the family decided the boy had no suitable clothes unless he could wear his father’s trousers, which were six inches too long. The father wasn’t willing to have the six inches cut off and the son was in tears at the thought of wearing them rolled up. However, it was decided, after long debate, that that was the best thing todo and the family retired – but not to sleep.

The mother shared the horror of her son at the thought of those rolled up trousers and at last decided to get up and cut off the extra six inches, which she did. Meanwhile, the sister tossed and fretted in sympathy with her brother and finally she, too, decide to cut off the extra six inches in an effort to cooperate. So she got up and cut another six inches off the trousers.

Cooperation without coordination will not make out pants fit.

– From an Essay by Andrew W. Robertson, The Book of Management Wisdom.

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