HR attitude of zebra towards lion and hyena

Why people go casual, careless and less serious and thus make mistakes? Is it that people really wants to be so hence they behave irresponsibly and indifferently? To understand the above, we need to understand the two important fear factors that make most of us a little lazy and careless.

The fear factors that influence our serious or casual approaches are

  1. Possibility
  2. Certainty

Look at the example that exists in nature. A herd of buffaloes or Zebra would get affected the least when they sight a pack of wild dog or hyena than a pride of lion. The danger from the pack of hyena or wild dog is possible but however it can be dealt easily by the herd of zebra or wildebeest. But such threat to their life is almost certain from the pride of lion as even a single lion can easily hunt them. But such certainty is not there with pack of hyena.

It is not the threat or danger makes these animals scared or alert or casual or careless, but only the possibility or certainty of such danger makes the difference. When the likely consequences become certain, people become less lazy and less indifferent but when the same laziness and indifference would prevail when the consequences are just a possibility.

In corporate, the leadership dimensions of people are primarily determined by possibility and certainty and not the consequence.  Therefore the corporate leaders should never use ‘consequences’ either to scare or as the right weapon to deal people. Instead, leaders should attempts to shift the consequences or reward or punishment from mere possibility and certainty. Once the reward or punishment becomes certain, the sense of responsibility in people will increase rather than people being casual and careless.

Many herbivorous animals often loose their young ones to hyena or wild dog more than to lion. Because the herbivores animals become a little casual towards middle level predators like hyena and wild dog than towards lion. The casual approach of these herbivores animals only causes them to loose their young ones to the middle level predators than to top predator – lion.

The message to the employee is that never measure the consequence under the scale of ‘possible’ or ‘certain’. Be responsible to your task irrespective of the consequences (reward or punishment) whether they are possible or certain.

The management message for the senior leaders and the organization is that when you dialogue with people always speak from the domain of ‘certainty’. That will show your commitment, responsibility, honesty and firmness.

Dr S Ranganathan

ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum


Help will make you lazy and careless…a HR message from Nature

Why we are more cautious and careful while climbing down a staircase or steps than climb up? Don’t we need more force and effort to climb up than climb down? But still why the scope of slip and fall are high when we climb down?

To climb up, one need to put an extra effort and force and also one has to be attentive and alert. Own effort and force will always come only when there is purpose/task. Naturally the effort and force linked with purpose/task will make one reasonably careful and cautious.

Whereas when one climbs down, more than such effort, all one need is a little balance. The gravity of earth would automatically help every one to reach down easily with least effort. Only because of such free help/support of earth’s gravity that exist, one has to balance own actions and efforts while climbs down.

Whenever, a free support is available to us, it can make us a little lazy, less cautious and careful. Therefore the chance of a fall is quite high, hence one has to balance own actions or efforts.

On the contrary, while climbing up, nothing is there to support us or encourage us. Only our effort and strength helps us to climb up. To climbs down, more than effort, balance is necessary.     When we exert own effort, we become automatically cautious and careful.

The larger management message to be understood from the above is that when we are relaying on our effort and strength, automatically we become careful and cautious and therefore the chance of slip or fall is less. On the contrary, when we receive some free help, our extent of caution and carefulness goes down and as a result, the chance for our failure increases or in other words, success become difficult.

Most of us ironically assume that only when we have someone to support us, we can perform better. Most often, we may even blame our fate for no one is there to help us. Look at the universal truth. When gravity automatically helps every one of us to easily climb down, our chance of slip or fall is high. Whereas such situation is limited when we attempt to climbs up against gravity, we become more cautious and alert.

Every one must try to avoid or minimize the help of others for our success and must relay on own effort and strength. Develop and strengthen own help and effort and be successful. Never look for some help and delay your progress. Be cautious and alert to be successful than looking for some free support.

Every event in nature sends a strong management message to the corporate. If we decode the inner message, it will be pointing more towards our self confidence than being dependent and helpless.


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


Corporate people and their ‘TRAP’….a HR message

Why antlion lives in own trap? An important management message one can get if such question is asked.

Antlion lives in own trap only to trap its prey. Antlion is a small insect that used to build funnel shaped trap in loose sand or soil. Small insects or ants when cross the nest of antlion, they fall into the funnel shaped trap due to the loose sand/soil and would get buried. Immediately the antlion would catch the prey.

When corporate people set trap for others, unknowingly most of them will be living in own traps. Instead of performing, they will be busy either building traps or will be living inside the trap that they have built for others.

Setting traps for others necessarily would make one to be in the same trap is the management message, nature conveys through the example of antlion.

Antlion has definite reason to be so as that is how it has evolved. But the corporate people cannot afford to exhibit the behaviour of antlion.

In most corporate, the bosses will set traps for some of their subordinates and vice versa and some how they want to trap each other. But unfortunately such people will be living in the same trap with the sole mission of trapping the subordinate (s) or the boss. The question is will such leadership style ever be contributory to the organization?   Will such people ever make any difference to the corporate?

Look at another anomaly. Why all predatory animals live in jungle? Only in jungle they could get their prey. To trap the prey, they have to live in the habitat where the prey animals live. But why the prey animals also live in the same jungle? Can’t they move out of the jungle and choose some other place where the predator pressure is less or nill?

The prey species are almost trapped into the fear of predator.   Hence they do not move out of the jungle as they appear not to have the knowledge or intelligence of sensing an area free of predators.

Although the rhythm and routine of life essentially requires some level of ‘imprisonment’, but being a prisoner of own making will do no good anyone. Unfortunately most of the people in corporate are seriously engaged in self defeating, purposeless game of trapping others than doing anything worthwhile in life.

Antlion although lives in own trap but is quite successful. That is how nature has created it. Therefore the corporate must search out all antlions in corporate and must help them to release to freedom from the self imposed prison.

Every action or style must yield success both to the individual and to the organization. That is the management principle on which nature operates.   The corporate leaders must learn this art and accordingly must lead the team.

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


You own your success and punishment..a HR insight of Nature

Nature’s justice is fair and impartial. Nature does not discriminate or differentiate prey from predator and vice versa. The reward and punishment are absolutely based on own creation/making. If you are wise & alert and your reflex is quick & swift, you can win otherwise you have to ‘soil the defeat’.

Nature has not defined the term defeat with any adjectives. For the predator, loosing a prey after burning huge calorie is equal to death. For the prey, yielding to predator is amount to loosing life.

Only when lion is smart, alert, agile, swift and quick, it can catch a prey. Otherwise, it may slip the prey at 11 hour. Such loss may not be mere lose of a prey, they also would have used up all their energy and strength. Hence hunting another prey will be all the more difficult.

For the prey, although food is available in plenty, they cannot afford to be casual and careless. If they loose their alertness and agility, they will have to pay their life as price.

The message is that one has to be wise, swift, quick, alert and able to be successful in nature. The first animal in the herd that has seen the predator never keeps the information to itself or for own safety. Immediately it alerts other members of the team. The same is true among predators also.

The question is whether such fairness and impartial work culture, possible in corporate. Is not prejudice, personal preference, sycophancy etc., pollute and influence most of our decisions in corporate?

Are we not seeing things definitely and differently as ‘mine’ and not ‘mine’?

Look at the justice system and fairness of Nature. The reward and punishment are purely based on own failure or smartness. Since all animals except man appear to have understood and accepted the above wisdom and that may be the reason why, prolonged complain or grief does to seem to exist in animal world. That may the reason, revenge, taking sides, sabotage, siege etc., does not exist in animal world except for own survival (in the case of hunters).

Non existence of fairness, doubting the existence of fairness and not believing in the fairness are only causing imbalances and commotion at work place. The HR function must learn its lessons from nature and must work towards establishing fair work culture in corporate. Co-existence with the absolute philosophy of kill and get killed is possible in wild only because of the above justice system.

Once the justice system is fair and impartial, every one would focus more on developing own capability than look for shortcuts and other unethical means.

In some small organizations, the close relatives of the owner can afford to make any colossal mistakes and goof ups, but that will not be questioned but other employees will be questions and or punished.

In such small organizations, the fair practice or an effective HR culture is impossible to follow. Naturally in such family run show, bringing an effective HR culture is almost impossible unless and until, the owners come forward willingly to change their leadership style.

The point to be reflected here is that only when we learn the fairness of Nature, the modern HR function can at least attempt to bring fair culture in the organization where people at all level would believe that reward and punishment are own making and no one else.   Only because of the absence of such culture in corporate, people resorts to all unethical practices.

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

Dream, Desire and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum