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


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