Know the equation of mongoose and rats…a HR message

‘Habit and habitat’ differences of different people working in the organization, the corporate leaders and the respective HR function must understand and only then they can effectively setup of the hierarchy and organizational chart.   This knowledge is well known to the nature and so is, to many species of animals and plants, especially to the mongoose and rats.  Habit of people is nothing but the basic instinct and hidden aspiration and habitat is nothing but the expertise and educational qualifications.


In certain countries, the mongooses were introduced to check and control the rat population as rodents cause incalculable harm to humanity.  Mongooses are known to live in burrows like most rats.  Further, mongooses also lives in the same habitat of rats like the agricultural fields, human dwelling areas etc.  Mongooses are carnivores animals live by preying upon other small animals including rats.


Therefore, it is naturally for any wise person to think that when mongooses are introduced, naturally they would end the regime and atrocities of rats in the given area.  If we carefully analyze the above logic, hardly we can find any blemish/lack of understanding.   Mongooses are predatory animals, they hunt rats, they live in burrows and finally they also absolutely share the habitats of rats.  But the result was not that encouraging after the introduction of mongoose.  After introduction of mongooses, the population of rats in fact only has increased and not declined.  Only after a detailed study it was understood that there was a small error/flaw in the understanding and that only has caused the entire confusion and chaos.  


The ‘habit’ of rats was different from that of ‘mongoose’.  Mongoose is diurnal (active in the day) animal while the rats, on the contrary, are active in the night (nocturnal).  When mongooses were introduced, the animals started killing the snakes, the natural enemy of rats in the given area.  If mongooses have to hunt rats, either they have to become nocturnal or the rats have to become diurnal.  When the natural enemy of rats – the snakes is removed, the population of rats would naturally grow. 


The management message is that, the corporate must understand the ‘habit and habitat’ of different people.  Only when such differences are understood, an effective hierarchy and boss-subordinate system can be established.  The corporate or the HR function should never approach the issue of people management casually.  Must understand all intricate aspects, however subtle and silent they may be.  Otherwise they would end with the story of engaging mongoose to check the population of rats.  The results become negative, disastrous and against the expectation. 


Knowledge and knowing must be done completely and thoroughly and not just superficially.  Otherwise, the intended and achieved results would go totally contradictory to each other.  Nature always serves best examples to the corporate to learn.  Let the corporate wisdom flow from mongoose and rats as well.


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


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