Tamm, J. (2015) Cultivating collaboration: don’t be so defensive! TEDxSantaCruz. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjSTNv4gyMM
Side note: So, I have to be honest about my initial interest in this post. Another student had posted it in our first template. I saw it was a TedxTalk and it was from Santa Cruz (insert small snicker here); I wanted to check it out from pure curiosity – Go Banana Slugs. As it started out, I thought it might be a bit of a joke, since he begins by telling a story about two groups of chickens. I was waiting for the punch line, but as it turns out it was not a joke and this was a very interesting and enlightening experiment… and Jim Tamm is no slouch himself. https://youtu.be/vjSTNv4gyMM
Summary: RESOLVING CONFLICT and BUILDING COLLABORATION : “Believe it or not chickens have a lot to teach us about collaboration.” begins Jim Tamm. He continues with his story at Purdue University, a professor studying genetics began studying two groups of chickens. There was a group of high egg producing chickens and a lower performing group, the professor of genetics looked into the difference between what Tamm now calls the “Collaborative Chickens or the green zone chickens”, these were chickens that were just genuinely nice to each other….”, Jim Tamm, is a retired Judge and an expert at building collaborative workspaces, and has become an expert in conflict resolution at collective bargaining for high stakes organizations in California. The story continues: In the chicken world the chickens that are the star performers are the chickens that lay the most eggs. It turns out that these become the star performers by suppressing the egg production of the other chickens. Star Performers do this by bullying the other chickens so they become scared and slow production of eggs. So by an experiment they tried to see if they could breed in the desirable qualities of the “green zone/collaborative chickens.” while breeding out the aggressive red-zone chickens. What was left at the end of the experiment of the “red zone chickens -externally aggressive/competitive” was not good. “I say what was left because more than half were murdered by their colleagues, pecked to death by the end of the experiment.” What was shown was that when left unmolested, the green zone chickens – the internally competitive collaborative chickens -had increased egg production by nearly 250%. Tamm continues from what they they learned in the chicken experiment. What happens when we down regulate stress from aggressive/angry/defensive behavior, collaboration and internal drive increases output and progress dramatically.