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Innovative teamwork is like a string of quartz pearls

Innovative teamwork is like a string of quartz pearls

After living and working in India for 16 years, we enjoy insightful stories that draw from the Indian culture. This story came to us in a newsletter and we couldn't help but share it since it touched upon the deeper dimensions of innovative teamwork!

The author is Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, founder and president of AVTAR ( She is one of India's most respected thought leaders on diversity and inclusion.

"I have at home a string of 108 quartz beads (also known as spatikam), really ancient ones - which have been around for the longest time. While in actual money terms the beads are not significant, sentimentally, they bear great value since they have been in the family for many generations and have adorned the necks of many a grandparent. They are the protagonists of several tales! Tales of wishes being granted, diseases conquered, calamities averted – all thanks to the chants offered using the 108 beads as a medium of faith.

One day as I was cleaning them, I noticed that the copper wire that held the beads together was falling apart and that meant a visit to the local goldsmith who, being a good friend of my mother-in-law, undertakes to deliver these ‘small’ jobs. I took great pains to explain to him that though they were mere spatika beads, which are available in plenty in every shop worth its prayer, these were special due to their being in the family for more than a century.

On the day that I was supposed to collect them, I waited for longer than usual and just as I was about to break into a rather vociferous line of protest, I noticed that the senior most jewel smith of them all – almost 90 to the day, walked in with my beads.

'I had given this job to one of our new apprentices,' said the owner, smiling. 'And since you had mentioned that this is very precious to you, I requested my grandfather to check every copper knot of each of the 108 sets. He is the best jewellery technician I know, and he has just pronounced it perfect! I needed the strength of my young goldsmith to twist the knots perfectly, but I also needed the sharp eyesight and attention to detail of my grandfather to make sure that the beads hold for the next century or so! My oldest and youngest teammates have worked on your string of spatikas.'

As I held the now shining and strong length of beads in my hand, I was both surprised and touched. What is this, if not the best example of integrated teamwork? Every day, the string of quartz beads reminds me of the amazing magic of powerful teams. Creating a strong bond between team members is something wonderful, whether in small or large endeavors, at work or in your personal life.  

Removing that pesky ego, looking at the big picture, taking complete ownership and being intentional about your work = is the recipe for exquisite teamwork. And when that happens, it will be nothing less than beautiful, like the string of quartz beads now waiting to hit the next century!"

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This is our guest blog where we invite thought leaders to share their wisdom with us! We hope you enjoy :)