Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis
The Bee and The Beetle

A long, long time ago the first animals had started to crawl from the sea onto the Earth. The predecessors to the beetle and the bee were in the water and one-day and decided to crawl onto the banks. They traded in their flippers for wings and legs and set off on their big adventure. They wandered around for awhile until they found some dirt that was similar to the mud they once called home. The beetle was very happy. It set up camp right away.

"I have everything I need here," said the beetle. "I have dirt to live in and dirt to eat. Now I will grow a hard shell for security."

The bees were not content. It said, "That is fine beetle, but I want to see more of the world." The beetle laughed, "I have everything here I could ever want. You will find nothing better." With that the two agreed to meet again in one year to see who was the best off. As part of their bet the insects agreed to be named after each one's achievements.

The bees continued to roam the earth. The bees found flowers from which to eat and discovered how to build homes in the trees. While each bee was able to work by itself, they still worked much harder than the beetles and were not better off.

One day the bees got a friendly visit from an asp. The bees told the asp of their competition with the beetles and about the troubles they had getting ahead. The asp watched the bees work for a day and came back with some suggestions. The asp showed the bees that certain bees had better ideas and skills than other bees. The prettiest female bee could attend to male courtiers and raise the young. The skilled builders could make one big strong home for all of the bees. The quick little bees could gather nectar from the flowers, and the big-strong yet slow bees could guard the new hive. The bees took the asps suggestion.

Soon the bees realized that by sharing their labor and information they could have many improvements in their lives. This new system took some getting used to, but had many new advantages. The biggest advantage was honey. Every bee in the group was needed to make honey however. The scouts shared information about nectar finds, the builders had better information on which to base their skills, the queen could give birth to meet scheduling problems and all of the bees could swarm together in times of danger. Even the bee's customers, the flowers were able to increase their quality of life. They now had scheduling and a new business venture called "cross pollination".

Soon the year was over and the bees returned to meet the beetles. The beetles bragged about how their work had remained consistent and secure since the bees had left. The bees told of their commitment to working in a company-wide hive and showed off their honey and new home. At the day's conclusion, the bee became known as "the honey bee" and the beetle was stuck with the name, "dung beetle".

Moral: Enterprise wide solutions demand businesses to rethink their existence I the work environment and have high levels of initial work involved, however Enterprise wide solutions can offer benefits that no single part of the company could have achieved working alone.

These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.

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