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Hippo runs as fast as an ant.... corporate message

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The small ant that is crawling on the ground and the gigantic hippo in water has an important management message to convey to the corporate world with reference to how the evaluation process should be.   

 

Most of the corporate people judge and assess others purely on a comparative basis.  Without reference and comparison, they cannot do any appraisal or assessment of either the task or the people.  In the comparison process, they usually miss out the true essence and merit of the task and the people.

 

No one will have any doubt in admitting the fact that the ant is a tiny insect and the hippo is a massive animal. Beyond this, the corporate man may not know anything about these two animals in general.  May be, the biologists knows a bit more.

 

If we study the ability of an ant to run with reference to its size, its speed is as high as a race horse.  If the reference of its size is removed, one may find the ant to be a slow runner.   No one can ever admit the ant to be as fastest runner. 

 

The same is the case with hippo also.  With reference to man, hippo is indeed a very massive animal.   Even a well grown crocodile or a pride of lion may not dare to go near a hippo.  If we consider the speed at which a hippo runs, indeed it runs very fast to its body size when compared to the running speed of man to his size. 

 

In brief, a hippo can out run a man.  The management message sends out by the hippo and an ant is very loud and eloquent.   When people are assessed and appraised, always the bosses should use the right reference.  If the right references are not used, only wrong conclusions and findings are derived as the end product of such appraisal or assessments in the corporate.

 

Whenever an employee is appraised and assessed for the performance, the appraiser must keep in mind the role definition of the employee, official freedom and decision making powers given to them, right and recognition enjoyed by them in the organization, the salary structure etc.  All these factors do influence and contribute to ones performance.  Only in such space, the bosses must evaluate the performance and performance potential of the employees. 

 

If we take the running speed as a measure, both the ant and the hippo are equal with reference to their size.  The correction formula used in the above assessment was the body size of both the animal and the evaluation parameter was the ‘running speed’.  

 

Only when the corporate bosses use the right correction formula during appraisal and assessment process, non subjective and impartial assessment is possible.  

 

Assess the people from the matrix of their job definition and do not try to compare two parallel entities.  The running speed of an ant must be measured with reference to its body size and not with any other animal in nature.   Many corporate bosses belittle their subordinates who are managers by designation by saying that they are not performing like GM’s and CEO’s.  Expecting such performance is not bad, but such reference point should not be used for evaluation.

 

Learn the fascinating world of animals, especially the life of ants and hippo and change your perception and attitude while you evaluate and assess your subordinates. 

 

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

 

Learn more from the management book – ‘Jungle wisdom for corporate management – lessons from the university of nature’ by Swami Sukhabodhananda and Dr S Ranganathan

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



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