The wasp – foolish or innocent, a HR wisdom

The corporate world is full of tricks, deception and predation and hence the corporate ecosystem is no way different from the lives of various animals in the jungle. The repertoire of leadership qualities/styles exhibited by the people in the corporate are as same as the ‘tricks’ used by either the predatory or the prey animals in jungle for their survival.

Some corporate leaders will be looking for and smartly making many ‘innocent people’ as ‘male thynnine wasps’, but the question is whether the ‘innocent folks’ are aware of the same?

Different species of Orchids are known to employ wide variety of tricks and mimicries to attract the pollinators. Although they do so, definitely the orchids reward the pollinators by different means (offer pollens, nectar etc). But some Orchids behave differently by instead of rewarding the pollinators; they fool them to get their business done.

One such wasp is ‘male thynnine wasp. The pheromones produced by the orchid flower attract the male thynnine wasp towards the flower. The male wasps unfortunately sense the flower to be a female wasp and then copulate with the flower. When the wasp does this from flower to flower, the pollen grains are transferred from one plant to another. Thanks to the ‘unawareness’ or ‘foolishness’ of the thynnine male wasp and or may be due to their urge for continuous sex, the orchids play a nice trick and gets its job done.

Many corporate bosses and even some HR function do play the same trick of the Orchids in corporate. They promise the subordinates/people about what are the benefits they are likely to get, possible promotion, newer responsibilities etc., and make them to do some odd jobs. Once the job is done, the promises are forgotten and new set of promises are placed.

The HR function also would use the same trick to attract talents and make them to join the organization. The thynnine male wasp never appears to know about its foolishness or the trick of the orchid plant. This may have a strong evolutionary reason. If the male wasp ever develops such wisdom, the existence of Orchids would go in jeopardy.

But fortunately, the people who were made as thynnine male wasp by either their bosses or the HR function, become aware of the same, sooner or later. But it becomes too late for them to do anything.

The management message to the people who had become a ‘thynnine male wasp’ is that instead of believing in any promises; please ascertain its validity, possibility and your eligibility. Once all the above three components are ascertained, the possibility of them becoming ‘thynnine male wasp’ is remote. Further, they neither have to blame others for their ‘cheap tricks’ nor about their innocence.

Evolution has certainly made some species to cheat or fool others and some species to get cheated or fooled. Hence the species that fool others and the species that gets fooled remain in nature unchanged. That is the law of nature. The corporate people only have to re-write the above law as unwanted and useless to the corporate by developing ‘sufficient awareness’ and ‘wisdom’.

Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai

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