Action, Intent and your confusion…a HR message

People in corporate must learn the essentials of how to understand the ‘intent’ of others than ‘mere’ act/actions. The reason being, actions of most of us can be similar. So similarity in our actions cannot be concluded as they are similar in its meaning.

Look at the behaviour of predatory animals in general. Besides the evolution of their fur colour for camouflage and uniqueness, they also hide their identity especially when they target a prey.

If you look at the prey animals, they do hide their identity. Especially the new born animals as soon as they are born, they immediately hide inside the grass.

If we look at the act –‘hiding’/’concealing own identity’ of a predator and prey, there is lot of difference. The prey animal hides its presence because of its danger and helplessness. But the predator hides its presence to help itself and to outwit the strength (scope to escape) of the prey animal.

The acts can be same but the intent of a prey and predator are different. The intent is different because the need is different. The needs are different because that is how different species of animals are evolved. The need of a lion is to eat a deer or buffalo. The need of a buffalo is to save its life from a lion. Lion has been evolved as hunter and buffalo has been evolved as prey of lion.

If we get sold our sense to what we observe to be true, then our understanding would terribly go wrong. When we see a lion that hide and sneak and conclude the lion to be scared and then we jump before it, the price we may have to give will be quite high.

The actions can be same but the intent is different. Only to send the profound management message of ‘do not judge or evaluate people’ purely based on the actions and also to teach the art of reading/knowing the intent only, nature has created prey and predator with similar behaviour/approach.

Unfortunately most people in corporate make confusions not conclusions based on what they see and observe. From what they have seen or observed, they often superimpose ‘their intent’ upon their observation and accordingly they derive the meaning. As a result of the above, most of our conclusions can neither close to what is observed nor the intent behind such actions?

Our conclusions/judgments/inferences become nothing but our own reflections or in other sense, they are nothing but what and how we want them to be.

Most occasions, we create what we want and only to be sad. If learn to create what is as the way it is than how it should be, our scope to be sad would get minimized.

Nature offers its best management example from the paradox. Unless we question our understanding and its influencing factors, we bound to cause confusion in our understanding and nothing else.

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

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum


Ladybugs, corporate and HR

The management message of how not to waste the efforts and ensure results instead of using excuses, the corporate leaders must learn from ladybugs.

The corporate people always love to blame the situation, market reality and other ‘convincing reasons’ for why they drop their effort in the middle and could not achieve the result. They present the story in such a way as if it was wise to drop the task in the middle than pursuing it.

Many corporate would take up some projects, aggressively pursue it and due to some reasons, would drop it abruptly. When the scope for use of ‘excuses’ are plenty, people often see reasons to substantiate their excuses than developing ‘instinct’ to accomplish the task.

Look at the management message of nature that sent through lady bugs. During breeding season, the female lady bugs are known to lay large number of infertile eggs along with a few fertile eggs. Only when the condition is quite unfavorable or uncongenial, the lady bug lays infertile eggs, otherwise the eggs would be fertile.

The question of why they lay infertile eggs, scientists have answered.   Lady bugs are poor parents as far as ‘parental care and nursing the young ones are concerned’. The young larvae need food to eat as soon as they hatch out.

Lady bug cannot avoid laying eggs because the condition is unfavourable. But at the same time, it cannot lay eggs just to die of starvation. The lady bugs are not doing someone’s job brief.   So it uses its extra sense and instinct. It lays limited number of fertile eggs and unlimited number of infertile eggs so that the larvae that emerge from fertile eggs can eat the infertile eggs and can grow.

Neither the effort of the lady bugs go waste nor the result suffer due to some reasons (unfavourable condition).

The corporate leaders must develop such instinct. Instead of using excuses and glorifying adversities, must develop right instinct to ensure effort doesn’t go waste or do the result suffers.

Balance of effort and result is must. To achieve that, one must not see the availability of plenty of excuses as first or best option. Nature has not made any life form on earth except man, with the luxury of lethargy, taking things for granted, use of excuses, procrastination etc.

If the corporate leaders and the respective HR function learn this essential management message from ladybugs, they can empower their people with right instincts than their instincts to cite excuses.

Instead of seeing bad in others or around you, see what best you can offer.

Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Lt.d., Chennai

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum      


Danger of being a seal in corporate…a HR insight

The prey-predator relationship between a seal and killer whale shares an important management message to the corporate people.

The seal can live both in water and land. When there is any threat, seal can easily move to land or from land to sea. On the other hand, the killer whale is strictly a marine animal and cannot live in land or can invade it, even for a short while. Further their massive body size limits them to be in deep sea region to have buoyancy.

Despite seal having such dual advantage, it easily and ‘so naturally’ fall prey to killer whale. One may wonder, how?

Because of the obligate aquatic mode of life, the killer whale knows that it have to find its prey only from sea.

On the other hand, the seal can either come to land or can jump into water. The dual advantage of the seal appears to have made the life of the animal in fact, more vulnerable.

When one operates with two or more options, naturally the ability to sense the risk factors is likely to be less. Either such ability may inbuilt some element of ‘carelessness’ or due to nature’s intent not to give absolute success to any species just because of such multiple options/abilities. But the situation is not the same for killer whale.

Another reason also we need to consider. The seal can come to land or can be in the water, only to escape from its predator. But it has to go to water to find its food, mainly the fishes, as it cannot find its food from land.

This necessity of the seal may be known to killer whale.

The killer whales appear to be working with absolute knowledge about the seal and are also highly focused. Such focus is likely to be absent in seal, may be because of their dual advantage.

The management message is that, advantage or your additional status need not be protective and instead, they can make you more vulnerable.

Most of the corporate leaders often fall to ‘seal syndrome’ because of their position or decision making power.  They never realize that the same uniqueness can easily make them vulnerable instead of giving any extra advantage.

The reason being, vulnerability/danger never discriminate a species whether it has any uniqueness/specialties or not.

Whether you are smart or not and whether you carry the requisite knowledge for success or not only determine your success.

Many people feel sullen because they are not the best preferred people by their bosses in corporate. Never think an advantage as an advantage but how you recognize your advantages and disadvantages, act accordingly and use such wisdom only determines your success.

Look at the adaptive advantages of a seal. In fact its advantages are only limiting its intelligence. On the other hand, limitations of a killer whale only make it intelligent.

Let your knowledge of knowing determine your success and not your unique positions or advantages.

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

Desire, Dream and Destination- Social Entrepreneur Forum


You cannot have both in one…a HR insight

Strength and stamina seldom co-exists in any single species. This management message the corporate leaders must understand and recognize. People who show enormous speed and reflex in understanding things may not and need not be effective contributors with reference to the long term ambitions of the organization.     For the over all growth and success of the organization, both kinds of people are necessary.

Look at the animal kingdom. All predators have enormous strength. On the other hand, the prey animals have high level of stamina. A deer can run fast and can sustain the speed for long distance and time. But the predators too can run fast but for short distance as they cannot sustain the speed for long time and distance. However the predators have enormous strength to pull down prey animals that are double their size.

Nature has given the above two success traits separately to two different species of animals and has ensured the success of both groups of animals. Comparison is never made between strength versus stamina.

When a deer find its strength in its stamina, lion finds its stamina in its strength.
Corporate must find a corollary to the above. Understanding and intelligence are the two elements that can be compared to strength and stamina.

Certain people operate from the domain of greater understanding while some from the premises of their uncanny intelligence.   If we compare and ask whether understanding or intelligence is superior, we may land up in confusion.

We should not misunderstand the fact that people with understanding do not have intelligence or intelligent people do not have understanding. Animals with stamina do have strength and similarly animals with strength do have stamina. But the above distinction is drawn based on the relative dominance the trait and how it determines the success.

Intelligent people are quite spontaneous and quick to read the differences and also to sense even subtle changes. They also will have several ways to deal the situation.

But people with understanding on the other hand are a bit slow, will work with limited options and most of them are contextual, proven, practical and workable.

Therefore the corporate leaders must understand these differences before comparing people. Both traits are necessary for the organization so are people with both traits. The people with understanding must know how to ‘use’ the people of intelligence and intelligent people must know how to ‘use’ the understanding of certain employees.

It is not comparing but coordinating both the group of people should be the quality of a good leader to achieve the corporate goal.

Weak leaders always blame others and would engage in narcissism, on the other hand, grate leaders make more leaders and build organizations.

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

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum  


You are getting fooled because of evolution…a HR message

The structure and function of nature (entire species diversity) is based on the simple law that ‘you can be fooled’ as you will often get lost to ‘deceptive appearances’ than verifying or validating the truth.

We all know our brain and so are our five sense organs most of the time fools us. The finer truth is that after knowing fully well about the above ‘truth’, still most of us get fooled and consciously gets deceived by appearance or what we see.

This is a big problem in human life. However, it is very much present in both animal and plant kingdom as well. The Batesian and Mullerian mimicry, camouflage, voice mimicry etc., are some of the examples for how every life form are liable to get fooled by others.

In corporate world, verification of truth and understanding of the facts are relatively poor. Conclusions and final judgments are often made based on what is seen than what is true.

The nature knows this law very well and that is how it has created both the poisonous coral snake and non poisonous scarlet king snake, look alike. Many plants and animals also have evolved in the same manner.   On seeing the colour resemblance/similarity, the predators/prey might assume the scarlet king snake to be poisonous and coral snake to be non-poisonous.

Once the ‘resemblance/similarity’ is seen, it can influence us in both directions. Then our influence determines the direction and not the actual reason. This is how most people in different organizations live.   When people verify/search reasons for their action/decisions, they would find hardly any reasons. But unfortunately they never care to understand the fact that it was purely due to how they got fooled by certain ‘imageries’ only had created such confusion. Verification is seldom seen among most people. The reason for people easily gets fooled and not verifying is, again due to some strong evolutionary reasons.

In nature, animals cannot afford to verify the facts in the beginning and then can take a wise decision. They have to take a decision first, only then can verify the facts. But in human life, especially in corporate world, why most people follow the evolutionary reasons than own human evolution?

Fear and uncertainty influence our brain a lot. Hence nothing on earth, man could first see without suspicion or doubt. A mind full off doubts always looks for evidence to support its doubt. This is the reason why we are all liable to be fooled by others. It is only our doubt, suspicion and fear makes us to get fooled by others and not our confidence.

If we develop healthy level of confidence, not only we will not get fooled by others but also our conclusions and judgments will be unbiased.

The corporate leaders must understand the above fact that blaming others as cheats and hence be suspicious will not solve the problem. Develop confidence and progressively eliminate ‘unhealthy fear’.

Do not carry the relics of evolution when it is not required. Learn to develop confidence, eliminate fear, learn to verify than fall prey to perception and illusion. You will never get fooled by others and you also never have to blame and suspicious about others.

Dr S Ranganathan

ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum      


From female foam-nest tree frog…a HR insight


If your selection process is robust, true, the best, impartial and non subjective, only then the best product/outcome/result can be produced/achieved. Failing which, only competition and heartburn becomes the end product.

Of course, such an effort also would also end the problem of sycophancy and unnecessary rat race in corporate world.   It is not the competition, but the outcome is important. To pick the best outcome, the people in the helm of affairs must be free, fair, impartial and sincere in their choice.

Nature has a best example for the corporate world to learn in this regard.

The interesting facet comes from the reproductive behaviour of female grey foam-nest tree frog. The female frog is known to mate simultaneously with 12 or more males than a single one. The above phenomenon is called ‘harmonious orgy or simultaneous polyandry’. Usually the female frog will release eggs in tree branch. Followed by that, the male frogs cluster around the eggs, release sperm and fertilize the eggs.

All that the female would do is to hydrate the nest. It has been scientifically proven that the offspring born out of multiple partners had shown grater survival rate than from single partner. The female frog instead of allowing the male frogs to fight and then she select the fittest to mate based on the physically valiancy, she allows every one to fertilize her eggs. She does so because she knows the universal truth that only the best offspring would survive and not the weakest. The best offspring can be produced only by the best male and not by the weakest.

Instead of selecting one from the group as the best through a limited screening test (proof on physical might over others), the female frog leaves the final choice to natural selection i.e., survival of the fittest, the one of the famous laws of Charles Darwin.

It means, she believes in strict and wise end product selection than anything else.

Most of the corporate leaders for example engaged in how to make the packaging of their product attractive, how remarkably they portray the ‘story script’ of the product, what special ingredient they have used and how to hype it etc., than providing the best benefits from their products.

The problem is that people are not so particular about exerting rigorous selection procedures at the terminal level/end product level to choose the best. Often they get lost in branding. It is like hiring people from premier institutions believing them to be the best than the rest, by most organization.

The female grey foam-nest tree frog knows the bitter truth that only the best one can survive in nature. If this philosophy, the corporate leaders ever learn and follow, their effort would be to create and offer the best and not in creating hype or aura around.

Owners of most of the small organizations do such mistake. They become busy, aggressive, time savvy and impatient in exaggerating their products. They often ‘kick and pinch’ their people to do things fast so that no time is lost to exaggerate their products.

The fundamental question they must ask is whether their products really deliver such exaggerated promises or not and if not, will such products sustain.

Competition, aggression, restlessness, blaming people etc., will not help. Choose the best and offer the best and never engaging is showcasing anything which is weakest as the best is the message, nature has to share to corporate.

Not competition, our selection must be wise, robust and impartial to get the best.

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

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum


How many years you are manager….a HR insight

Only the useful people can go useless in due course of time. Naturally when one becomes useless, must accept the rejection, despite the past glory and achievements. This is the universal law.

It means, the people who had served some purpose, made a difference and added some meaning to the organization are the one most likely to get rejected than those who were ‘simply’ in the system without any worthwhile contribution.

When such reality pricks, people should remember the history gracefully that they had contributed in the past and the order of the day has changed and hence must play second fiddle.

Look at the pride of lion or pack of hyena or swarm of bees. All these animals are lead by their team leaders (the dominant male or female). As long as these leaders can remain dominant purely through their merit, they can retain the highest position in hierarchy. Otherwise, the second they become ineffective, they are outrageously rejected and mercilessly chased out of the team. Rest of their life they will have to live a life in solitude.

The problems people face in corporate are multifold. Every one wants to be continuously relevant, accepted as dominant and important by others. But unfortunately most of us nurture the above desire without nurturing the qualities and traits essential for one to become continuously relevant and useful. Instead of that, people often engage in blaming the system and the arrival of a new leader.

Most of the employees in the middle age and those who stuck in the middle management level in every corporate generally face such problem. Unfortunately even in their early fifties also, many would remain in the cadre of ‘Manager’, managing something or other.   When a new batch of young talents join the organization, these old folks sulk and sullen at them enviously. If such young new comers are made as their bosses, the ‘over aged managers’ will fall into pity and grief.

Instead of being worried, see how you can update yourself and can remain relevant. If you cannot, accept the truth gracefully and learn to live happily.

In animal world, all animals form group/team only to achieve and not when they have lost their identity and relevance. Never the chased out dominant lions of two prides ever form a team.

But the young bachelor male lions do form team and look for a pride to conquer.

In corporate, the ‘old folk’ do gang up due to their rejection or less importance. They discuss a lot about how ungrateful the organization has become and how valuable contributions they have made to the organizations in the past etc.

Remember, ruminate and reminisce your past to make your present happy and not to make yourself unhappy and sad. When people of similar fate gangs up, they could only breed and multiply their sadness and never could make any meaning or merit out of such grouping.

All animals in nature would group together only to achieve or to make some meaning.   Never the ‘lost/rejected’ animals ever form a group of their own.

Continuously update your knowledge and be relevant besides quickly finding the ladder and grow.  Otherwise accept the universal law gracefully and be happy.

Dr S Ranganathan

ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum