How you go wrong with people….a HR insight from Flamingo

In corporate, the leaders do extrapolate their every observation, data or findings to make some conclusions or strategies for the future of the organization.

Without extrapolation, we cannot work. But the question is how do we extrapolate and what date we use, how we understand it correctly etc., are important. If we do not consider these aspects, our extrapolation will go wrong.

Look at the world of flamingo. During breeding season, the male and female birds always choose their partners who have brilliant orange coloured plumage.   Colour of the plumage of the bird at birth is, otherwise white. When the bird eats the carotenoid pigment rich diet, mainly some species of algae and crustaceans, the pigment from their diet impart colour to the feather of flamingo.

The question is why the female or male choose the richly coloured flamingo to mate? Only because of rich diet, the bird is coloured. So choosing such healthy bird only would result in producing health offspring.   So, flamingo takes the plumage colour as an indicator to extrapolate the scope of producing best offspring during breeding season. Scientifically they are right, both in using the right data and correct interpretation/extrapolation.

In corporate, people often use ‘right’ data for making wrong extrapolation or use ‘wrong’ data and wrong extrapolation.

In some small organization, the owners may find some employees to be very talented purely because such employees show high level of ‘loyalty’ and ‘love’ for the owner/organization. These people may not have the required professional qualification or competency but still the owners praise them and venerate them.   The owners use the data of their ‘loyalty’ and ‘lack of opportunity’ for them elsewhere as the best trait and extrapolate the likely significant role of such people for the organization in future.

Instead of having professionals and smart & suitably qualified people for the job, unfortunately the owners of some small organizations use the ‘data’ on the loyalty of people as the ‘best and only quality’ and based on such quality, they further extrapolate the likely extraordinary contributions of such people.

The ‘use of correct data’ and making ‘right extrapolation’ is very important for growth of the organization. Like flamingo, the leaders must use the ‘right data’ and must draw ‘unbiased extrapolation’ based on the future needs of the organization. Only when the future interest of the organization is seen over personal preferences, right choice can be made with right insight.

Many leaders often conclude the merit of their employees based on some strong personal reasons. If some employees avoid them from interacting or interact with them poorly, the owners conclude that such employees lack leadership quality. Contrary to that, if some employees often go to them and discuss even the trivial issues, such employees are considered as very talented and highly committed.

The unfortunate part is that neither their data is correct nor the extrapolation.

Look at the beauty of nature, how blissfully it throws up its teaching for the corporate to learn.

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

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum


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