Normal larva, royal jelly and queen bee… a corporate leadership wisdom

Develop your leaders from the day they joined the organization is the message, the honey bees in the beehive communicates to the corporate world.  The corporate management and the respective HR function must learn the art of not only knowing the need for leaders to lead the organization in future and also must know how to develop them and exactly when.


The nucleus or the centre of a beehive is the queen bee.  Every bee hive will have only one queen bee with large number of sterile female workers and males.  The role of male bees is only to mate with the female for the purpose of procreation.  When the queen bee become old, the worker bees would select a few larvae in the hive and feed them with royal jelly and nurse them in a separate chamber.   The larvae after feeding on the special food pupate.  From the pupae (after completing the pupa stage), the new queen bees would emerge.   The queen bee that emerges first would kill other queen bees including the existing old queen in the hive. 


Later the new queen bee would takeover the hive and from thereon, her legacy starts. 


The management message to be understood by the corporate is about how a new leader has to be developed, nurtured and mentored.   Like how the worker bees select a few larvae and develop them as queen bees and finally make the best one to rule the hive, the corporate management also should develop ‘the select group of people’ to train to govern the corporate in future.  Special care and considerations (training) must be provided to these people with a clear focus on the important role they are likely to play in future.   Even if a select group of people are developed for future, the best from the group only should be given the rein to rule.   It should be like, how the worker bees develop a few larvae to queen and then allows the best to settle as their queen, the corporate also must always go for the best. 


Developing people should not be based only on the capability of people, but the vision and the overall interest of the corporate must be coupled with the process of developing people for future.  The capability of people becomes effective and useful only if they are trained and tutored by the corporate with its values and vision leading towards the final goal of the corporate.    


The modern corporate must learn from the small insect world as how beautifully they govern the division of labor and complex diversity within the hive, free from conflicts, prejudice, sycophancy and also from ‘yours most obediently’ syndrome/ culture.


The HR trainers and leaders must learn the instinct of how to develop people for future and how to select the best, from the social insects, especially the honey bees.  


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


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