Wake up from dormancy…a HR message

Desert snails can remain in their same shell for longer period of time. It means, the shell doest grow, and it means the snail doesn’t grow. Only when the snail grows, the shell will grow.   It is estimated that only 17-26 days in a year, the desert snails are active and otherwise they remain dormant for rest of the year.  All their biological activities (eating, mating, egg lying etc.,) occur during this short active period of the year.


They live in desert, where the conditions are extreme. Due to extreme conditions, they undergoes long period of dormancy. This is not same with other species of snails. The corporate message is that when people adapts to dormancy phase in their corporate, they might able to survive for longer period but will never grow.


Many people in corporate prefer dormancy over active life. They believe that to be active means, taking up responsibilities and executing responsibilities. Both demand effort, commitment and competency. Such situations will never allow people to remain lazy, irresponsible & indifferent and can comfortably engage in praising and flattering the bosses.  


Be less visible, be less loud or less noisy, get less discussed, participate the least in the discussions, interact the least and do the job what is assigned is the philosophy most people wish to follow in corporate. Many people prefers such dormancy in corporate. Dormancy is one of the evolutionary adaptations always ensures survival success.


The question the desert snails pose to the corporate people is that whether people are adapting and evolving just to ‘survive’ or to be ‘successful’. If you are busy with the former act, you will become like a desert snail. You can feel happy that you are working with the same corporate for many years. But remember you haven’t grown enough in the corporate.


The question is that when the effort of people in corporate are more towards ‘survival’ how such efforts will provide ‘success’. Reason for the grief of most of the people in corporate is only due to the mismatch in ‘effort versus expectations’.


Only the extreme desert conditions had compelled the desert snails to remain dormant for 11 months a year. Because they remain dormant, they grow the least and hence could remain in the same shell for longer period of time.


Corporate people must wake up from their dormancy and must verify whether they are working for survival or success? Never assume that you could remain in the same corporate for longer period of time as an achievement. If you think so, you are no way different from a desert snail as it could remain in the same shell for longer period of time.

HR also must realize that only when people grow, the corporate can grow, like only when the snail grows its shell grows.


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

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum


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