Corporate HR and the Process of Fruit Ripening
Many fruits like citrus, cucumber, grapes, pineapple, pomegranate etc., can ripe only when they are with the mother plant. Once they are plucked or separated from the mother plant they don't ripe and become fruit.
Quite contrary to that, the fruits like mango, banana, guava, papaya etc., ripen and become fruit even after they are separated/removed from the mother plant.
Instead of attempting to know or answer the above discrepancy among different fruits, the corporate employees and the HR function must understand the deeper management message they convey or hidden inside 'such discrepancy'. If we research the 'structure and function' of a corporate, we can find several citrus and cucumber people occupying different roles in the corporate.
Some people in the corporate can exist only under the identity of the corporate. They are known to the world only in association with the corporate they work. Once they are out of the corporate, they remain and become nothing. In a sense, they can function and perform only in the corporate ecosystem and cannot perform as 'individuals' once they are outside of such ecosystem.
Contrary to that, some people can perform both in the corporate ecosystem as well as outside the corporate ecosystem as 'individuals'. The former group of people are like cherries or citrus or cucumber or grapes. These fruits cannot ripe if they are plucked from the mother plant. To ripe, they have to be attached with the mother plant.
The later group of people are like mango or banana or guava or papaya. These fruits do ripe even if they are not attached with the mother plant or are removed from it. The people belong to the second category perform beyond the corporate ecosystem as well. They are highly talented and resourceful people.
Human Resource (HR) function in the corporate must know different 'capability' domains of people only then the right leadership qualities can be pruned out of right people. Guava, papaya, mango or banana people only should be made as top leaders and given independent responsibilities. They see no limitation and perform well despite all odds and adversities. Whereas, the people like grapes or citrus are not the right choice for top leaders.
They could perform only in the corporate ecosystem. Independent and individualized performance, these people cannot showcase unless the support of the corporate ecosystem is there.
Many occasions, the leaders have to take quick decisions, articulate individually, require guts and risk taking attitude. Only people who can perform independently and individually can exhibit the above leadership qualities.
Just by looking at the behaviour of different fruits how they ripen, the corporate HR function can develop high level of management insights and learn how to identify and develop leaders.
Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai