They are working but no result…a message of sparrow to corporate

It is a very common feature in most corporate where the ‘doers’ are always asked to do things continuously.  The bosses always find some defects or deficiency in the work done by the ‘doer’ and thereby ask them to do things repeatedly.  Such bosses only want their people always busy doing thing or other.  At the end of the day, the ‘doers’ are blamed for not completing the job logically despite they being always busy in doing. 


When someone is asked to things continuously or be busy, naturally they cannot complete most of the things to its logical end as they were only doing.  Unless this fundamental management wisdom, the corporate leaders and the bosses understand clearly, they cannot make people ‘performers or achievers.   Everyone will be only busy ‘doers’ and all the time engaged only in ‘doing’. 


If we study the biology of egg laying behaviour of birds and the importance of clutch size in successful rearing of young ones, can understand the above message.  Based on the egg laying behaviour of birds, they are broadly classified as


  1. Determinant layers
  2. Indeterminate   layers


The birds of the first group always lay only fixed number of eggs during the given breeding season.  Even if one or two eggs are removed or destroyed from the clutch, they will not lay an additional egg to replace the loss to maintain the required clutch size.  Birds like Pelicans, Budgies are example for determinant egg layers.


The indeterminate egg layers are birds that lay eggs continuously especially when one or two eggs are removed or destroyed and maintain the clutch size. They do so to compensate the loss of the egg.  This does not mean they lay eggs forever.  Cockatiels, sparrow etc are some of the examples for indeterminate egg layers.


The interesting management learning is not about the two types of birds.  If the eggs of an indeterminate bird are removed as soon as they lay them, the bird would lay eggs again to compensate the loss.  The final number of eggs laid by then in the given season can be double the size of the clutch of the bird. 


Imagine, if all the removed eggs are placed back in the nest, the bird cannot incubate and hatch all the eggs.  Interestingly, all the eggs are laid by the bird only.  Birds lay eggs only to rear the future generation.  Egg laying and brood care are very costly affair for every bird.  Then, why it fails to incubate and rear all the eggs.  The bird cannot even incubate the eggs properly as the bird will be too small to do so.


The double the number of eggs the bird had laid only to compensate the loss when the egg was removed.  Only the number of eggs in its clutch it can incubate and not the above or more than that. 


If people are constantly asked to work and made to be busy, they would only be like an indeterminate egg laying birds constantly lay eggs when eggs are removed.  If all the removed eggs are placed back in the nest, the bird cannot incubate the number of eggs beyond its brood patch.   Similarly if people are made to work continuously, they would work, perfection and logical conclusion cannot and should not be expected from them.  Once an assignment is given, they should be facilitated to complete, think and understand the implication of the task etc., and only then another task should be given.  A respite or between two assignments is essential. 


Most corporate believe that hard working and continuously working employees only can make the organization successful.  If the corporate make people to work continuously, they will fit only to work and become ‘perfect workers’.  If you constantly tell people about the mistakes and ask them to correct, they will do only that.  Guide people, tell them to avoid the mistakes, tell them to correct as and when such mistakes are noticed etc. 


Cockatiels can produce 8 – 10 eggs. They produce that many numbers of eggs only when there is deficit in the clutch size.  After eggs are laid to compensate the deficit, if the eggs are placed back, the bird will naturally find it difficult to deal the situation.  The message is that by playing tick, one may able to make a cockatiels to produce eggs beyond its clutch size, but cannot make the bird to incubate them.


The same way, the bosses can make the people to work constantly, but by making people to overwork, result cannot be generated. 


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


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