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09.10.2013 Feature Article

Too much of competition is only 'GOOD'....a corporate message from some water plants

Too much of competition is only 'GOOD'....a corporate message from some water plants
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Competition is good or bad for the corporate? The corporate leaders and the HR trainers would always say 'healthy' competition is good and much desired. What is healthy and what is unhealthy competition? In biology, I really doubt whether we can see anything called healthy competition?

For resource, space and mate, one animal tends to overpower the other is called competition. This would happen in nature only when the resource, space and mate are less than the required level. In nature, competition is only good and not and never bad. When many plant tends to grow aggressively in the given space, we may assume that they depletes the resource such as water, minerals etc., and thereby many would die or may have to grow malnourished.

The truth is different. If we introduce the water plants in a pond, they tend to grow fast and fill the entire pond. These plants ensure that there is no empty space is left in the pond that they have not filled. When they do so, are they not creating unhealthy competition amongst themselves?

The recent pilot studies have proved that such aggressive growth and complete covering of the water surface by some water plants is advantageous to them. When they cover the surface of the water, they in fact prevent the water loss and drying of the pond greatly. The rate of water loss from ponds that does not have such green cover on the surface dries out much faster than the ponds that are filled by the water plants.

If we investigate more, different scientific possibility may surface. The point is not about science but the management that is involved in the above process of aggressive growth of some water plants. The water in the pond is essential for water plants. That is why they are called as water plants.

By growing fast, really as fast as they can and by filling the entire surface of the water only they can prevent the water being evaporated out from the pond. They compete with each other to ensure that the resource and a hospitable environment are protected for everyone.

Imagine, if they don't compete to grow and cover up the entire water surface as fast as they can, they would loose water, the most precious resource for their 'very existence'. Here, the competition has no negative effect, rather, it has only positive effect and which is essential and inevitable for the water plants.

The plants that have broad leaves like lily or lotus, such growth is not seen as the broad leaf cover the water and thereby reduce/minimize the evaporative water loss.

The corporate leaders should understand the real meaning of 'healthy competition'. Seeing and protecting the overall wellness of the corporate should be the soul tenet of competition and only then such competition can be called 'healthy' ones. During such process, some individuals do suffer. If we look at the definition of competition from individual angle and individualized way, the competition is indeed 'unhealthy'. If we look at the same from the overall interest of corporate, it is healthy.

Some water plants indeed engage both in 'healthy' and 'unhealthy' competition if the corporate wants to say so. They might be seeing only the community interest and not the interest of the individual as far as their competition is concerned. The message of nature is clear and it is up to the corporate leaders and the HR functions to do the needful from their learning from the water plants.

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

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