An exciting example...a corporate management message
It is an excitement and not an example. The above management message only comes to the modern corporate from the life of dung beetle and leaf cutter ant. The corporate bosses must delayer the meaning and must walk the talk. In many occasions, especially during appraisal time, the bosses are known to use several alliterations and assonance to put the subordinates down and make them feel totally worthless. Sometime they do also with the intent to motivate and exhilarate them.
The best example is the life of dung beetle or leaf cutter ant. The scientific studies have proved that the dung beetle is the strongest insect in the world. It can easily pull or carry the weight more than 1000 times of own body weight. On the other hand, the leaf cutter ant can carry the weight 50 times more than its own body weight. In one of the appraisals, the boss of a corporate had quoted the above examples to the subordinates to send a clear message that when a small beetle can be so capable, why not the subordinates?
The debate is not about such comparison and nor about whether it is right or not to use such an example. This message is not just for the corporate bosses but also for the corporate trainers as well. The corporate trainers also use several examples to motivate people.
The important management message to be remembered by all is that our examples should serve meaning, contextual relevance and must meet the end purpose. But most often the corporate bosses and corporate trainers use examples to excite people but such examples will not create any connectivity. Only when there is connect with the example, change, correction and transformation is possible.
When there is a serious business like imparting training or appraisal of subordinates, use of examples must be right, correct and for the right purpose. The suggestion is not against use of examples that would elicit excitement; such examples are also inevitable to break the monotony. But never expect that through an exciting example you can transform people. Nor does an exciting example will serve the purpose especially during appraisal period. Such reference will only demean people.
Remember, the elephant may lift only the weigh 10% of its total weight but still it means a lot than that of the dung beetle or leaf cutter ant. To our context, the job of an elephant only can make difference and not the dung beetle. Therefore while using an exciting example also think whether such examples are also going to transform people.
The ability of dung beetle to lift or pull weight more than 1000 times is more due to save its own life. When the beetle burry inside the dung, it should able to lift the dung from above only then it can escape. But only the strength help the elephant do such task.
Remember, the corporate success comes not from just excitements but only from transformations. Therefore work towards transforming people.
Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai