Ant and Hippo in corporate by drsranganathan


									The small ant that is crawling on the ground and the gigantic hippo in water has an
important management message to convey to the corporate world with reference to
how the evaluation process should be.

Most of the corporate people judge and assess others purely on a comparative basis.
Without reference and comparison, they cannot do any appraisal or assessment of
either the task or the people. In the comparison process, they usually miss out the true
essence and merit of the task and the people.

No one will have any doubt in admitting the fact that the ant is a tiny insect and the
hippo is a massive animal. Beyond this, the corporate man may not know anything
about these two animals in general. May be, the biologists knows a bit more.

If we study the ability of an ant to run with reference to its size, its speed is as high as a
race horse. If the reference of its size is removed, one may find the ant to be a slow
runner. No one can ever admit the ant to be as fastest runner.

The same is the case with hippo also. With reference to man, hippo is indeed a very
massive animal. Even a well grown crocodile or a pride of lion may not dare to go near
a hippo. If we consider the speed at which a hippo runs, indeed it runs very fast to its
body size when compared to the running speed of man to his size.

In brief, a hippo can out run a man. The management message sends out by the hippo
and an ant is very loud and eloquent. When people are assessed and appraised, always
the bosses should use the right reference. If the right references are not used, only
wrong conclusions and findings are derived as the end product of such appraisal or
assessments in the corporate.

Whenever an employee is appraised and assessed for the performance, the appraiser
must keep in mind the role definition of the employee, official freedom and decision
making powers given to them, right and recognition enjoyed by them in the
organization, the salary structure etc. All these factors do influence and contribute to
ones performance. Only in such space, the bosses must evaluate the performance and
performance potential of the employees.

If we take the running speed as a measure, both the ant and the hippo are equal with
reference to their size. The correction formula used in the above assessment was the
body size of both the animal and the evaluation parameter was the ‘running speed’.

Only when the corporate bosses use the right correction formula during appraisal and
assessment process, non subjective and impartial assessment is possible.

Assess the people from the matrix of their job definition and do not try to compare two
parallel entities. The running speed of an ant must be measured with reference to its
body size and not with any other animal in nature. Many corporate bosses belittle their
subordinates who are managers by designation by saying that they are not performing
like GM’s and CEO’s. Expecting such performance is not bad, but such reference point
should not be used for evaluation.

Learn the fascinating world of animals, especially the life of ants and hippo and change
your perception and attitude while you evaluate and assess your subordinates.

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

Learn more from the management book – ‘Jungle wisdom for corporate management
– lessons from the university of nature’ by Swami Sukhabodhananda and Dr S

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