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18.06.2013 Feature Article

Weak bone with heavy feather... a leadership message

Weak bone with heavy feather... a leadership message
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Weight of the bone of most of the flying birds are less than the weight of their feather. One may wonder how the bone that weights less can give strength and stability to birds. Nature has different purpose and meaning to its understanding. The purpose of bone is although to give definite shape and firmness to the body of all animals including man, successful survival sometime requires beyond 'bone architecture' or 'bone weight'.

The flying birds have to be efficient flyers. Heavier birds are generally poor flyers obviously owing to their 'body weight'.

The weight of the body is predominantly due to the weight of the bones. The only way to trim down the body weight and to increase the flying efficiency is having bones that weigh less than the feathers. That is why nature has created birds with such discrepancy or paradox or uniqueness.

The above example clearly reveals the importance of how one should learn not follow the normal rule book always. The rule book must be referred but the larger contextual reality should prevail in ones decision and not just the rule.

To be an efficient flyer, the birds need larger and stronger wings. To support the above need only the birds have more wings (feathers) that weight more than the bones.

The bone weight and feather weight represent the two key aspects of the corporate leadership such as 'knowledge' and 'vision'.

The message to be drawn from the above is that whether the vision or knowledge should determine the corporate leadership? People often say knowledge. Of course, that is how the rule book also says. The truth is that knowledge need not always compliment vision. People with knowledge need not be visionaries either.

Pick up people with great vision and sensitivity to understand and respond to the subtle changes in the marketplace. They can run the corporate better than people with great/extraordinary knowledge. Understand the difference between 'knowledge' and 'vision'. Nature has certainly answered the above question through its creation of birds. Nature has not followed the 'rule book' while creating birds that the bone should weight more than the feathers.

The rule book is only to give larger perspective and understanding and the contextual reality only should determine whether the rule book has to be followed or not.

Unless the management insights of nature are well understood, the art of corporate governance cannot be achieved totally and successfully. Every paradox or contradiction in nature has a deep management message for the corporate man to understand and learn. Corporate people can learn them only if they have high level of sensitivity towards nature and its creation.

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

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