#3 Companies Don’t Perform, People Do with Ann Baret

Welcome to Episode Three of Show Me the Honey. In today’s show we chat to Ann Baret, who works closely with teams and is inspired to support teams in creating value through overcoming conflict and accelerating the performance of the individuals who collectively drive success of the organisation. Before we get to the interview, I would like to share with you a little story.

Ann had only just left my home studio when Alfonso, our housekeeper, beekeeper and my-brother-from-another-mother, ran into my office and said: “The bees are dying!” We have four beehives on our property and we recently removed a colony from a neighbour’s property where the colony had swarmed at the bottom of their garden. As they had young children they asked us to remove them.  So when we opened the box of newly relocated bees, we saw dead carcasses everywhere. Alfonso was very unhappy because he is obsessed about bees and they are like his little children.

We did not know what to do, so we Googled it. There were two options: either the hive had gotten wet or they were starving to death. We found the queen bee alive along with four other bees. Now, what is really amazing, is that Alfonso had never seen a queen in his 20 years of working with hives and so he was really excited about seeing her and that she was alive. We could see clearly that the hive was dry and we could see in the cells that the dead bees were stuck in the cells, headfirst, which is a sign Google said meant they had starved to death. They had relocated their colony at the wrong time of year and did not have enough honey supply to get through the winter.

Saving the Queen! You can see her behind the front two bees.

I ran back to the house and grabbed a squeeze-bottle of shop-bought honey and ran back to the hive. We carefully poured this honey into the cells. Google did not say we should do this, yet in my mind it seemed logical that bees live on honey throughout winter so this puts the honey back. And there was nothing to lose but try. What was really a beautiful moment for me was seeing the queen bee – this massive and beautiful bee – lumber across the really desiccated honeycomb and insert her probe into the golden liquid and drink, drink, drink. The four remaining bees did the same with their new gloopy drops.

I don’t know if the colony is going make it, yet it did bring to mind what happens when, in businesses and teams, we go into our winter ill-prepared and we don’t have the nourishment we need to see us through the difficult times. You could think of this on many different levels. Think of an entrepreneur going into the proverbial winter with a slow cash flow. Think about teams going into a massive undertaking and they don’t have the right resources, they don’t have the right culture or have enough people or the right people on board.

There is so much that we can take from this beautiful story and I wanted to share the plight of these bees with you. I do hope we can save them and we will keep checking every few days and perhaps we can save them. I will keep you posted!

Right now, let’s get stuck into our chat today with Ann as we unpack some insights around the performance of people and finding the genius within each person in your team.

Ann Baret’s Web Site

Contribution Compass

Ann’s Book Recommendation

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