If I told you that one solution to prevent flooding in a barn would be to have a group of people move it to a new location up the hill, you may think that I was crazy. But such a feat actually happened.

In 1988, Herman and Donna Ostry’s barn was moved 115 feet to the south, up 6 feet of elevation, turned 90 degrees and set back down! It required 344 people and 20 minutes to accomplish the task.

The story has been captured in a new children’s book that is relevant to any organization trying to get a group of people together to solve a “big, big, big problem.”  Farmer Herman and the Flooding Barn shares several silly scenarios — including moving the barn up the hill — but ultimately the impossible proves to be possible with enough help.

If your organization is facing a daunting task, Farmer Herman may prove to be a valuable story to share with your group. It is short, funny and best of all, true. If their community can move a barn up the hill, what is possible with your people working together? Don’t laugh at the answer.

Farmer Herman and the Flooding Barn by Jason Weber, benefiting the National Foster Care Initiative

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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