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30.04.2014 Feature Article

Accept, they are made like that...a HR message from cattle world

Accept, they are made like that...a HR message from cattle world
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Is there anything called 'burden of past'? Do people in corporate also suffer from the above? Is the concept/theory/philosophy of 'burden of past' is science or just a notion. If some scientific experiments are viewed through the kaleidoscope of management, certainly the concept of 'burden of past' is true and scientific.

Look at the cattle in farm land or in the jungle. They are referred as cud chewing animals or ruminating animals (ruminants). It means, they quickly cut and swallow the grass and other plants as soon as they get. Later they go to a safe place and regurgitate the food, chew them and then swallow. The primary act is more of storing the food and cud chewing is only considered as eating the food.

The evolutionary reason for the cud chewing adaptation is to avoid predation. The cattle being the most preferred prey animal of large number of predators like tiger, lion, cheetah, panther, hyena, wild dogs etc., they have really less time to invest on 'leisure eating'. Hence they have to swallow the food as quickly as possible only then they can eat enough food.

If we look at the history of cattle domestication by man, the man-cattle association may date back to several hundreds of years. It means, they have been living with man for several centuries. Naturally when they live with man, man feeds them and also they live in predator free environment. There are farm cattle live exclusively inside the cattle shed for their lifetime and are fed regularly. But still those cattle also swallow the food first and later cud chew. When danger is not there and food is also fed to them regularly, why they cannot cud chews and eat the food leisurely in the first place? It is purely because of the anatomy of their stomach. The food first enters rumen. From rumen the food comes back to mouth and the cud chewed food enter to omasum and then to abomasum. The passage of food is set during the course of evolution.

Because of the above adaptation, even when the cattle are reared in predator free environment and feed regularly, they cannot eat the food leisurely in the first instance. The burden of past has set so well in their life and hence they follow cud chewing mode of eating. What we may see as behaviour in cattle- the cud chewing has strong anatomical predisposition. The burden of past seen in cattle is not limited to the behaviour but it is engraved so deeply in the anatomy of the cattle.

So the management message is that the 'burden of past' is science as well. Many corporate people carry huge bundle of 'burden of past'. Management trainers and some HR function may try to change the people. In most instances they fail miserably also. Understand the truth first. Whether they carry such 'burden of past' just at the display level or it goes beyond. i.e., like how the anatomy of stomach of cattle only necessitates cattle to ruminate the food they eat.

Understand the behaviour of people in corporate very well and understand the genesis of such behavioural uniqueness. Understand the bundle of 'burden of past' and its existence as well.

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

S. Ranganathan, Dr.
S. Ranganathan, Dr., © 2014

Dr.S RanganathanColumn: SRanganathan

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