Do cacti love to grow in water rich areas? The cacti are xerophytes or a group of plants that grow in arid and dessert areas. These plants are well adapted to live with least water in the soil. The cacti have two important mechanisms to address the above constraint and are

1. Cacti does not have leaves and hence these plants suffer the least from evaporative water loss
2. Cacti have special mechanism to store water and are succulent in nature

Besides the above two mechanisms, the cacti also have thorns around them that protect them from other invading animals.

Assume, if water is provided to the plant regularly, most cacti fail to grow. Why cacti behave so strangely. Cacti struggle to accumulate the water within them and also struggle to minimize the transpiration lead water loss from them.

When water is provided, naturally the cacti need not struggle either to accumulate or to prevent the loss of water. Growth of any plant is expected to be good when struggle for the basic needs are not there. But cacti seem to love the struggle and that may be the reason why they fail to grow when water is provided.

The above unique phenomena of cacti send a strong management message to the corporate in general and the HR function in particular. The same psychology or idiosyncrasy can be seen among many corporate bosses and the employees. Unless they are either thrown to a challenge or a challenge is posed on them, they do not perform as they do not know to perform in a struggle free environment in the corporate.

Such people need various challenges to kindle their energy to perform. HR must understand this paradoxical working dynamism of some people and accordingly such people should be thrust with some challenges.

Another important management insight also the plant cacti conveys to the corporate HR function. Some people even in the best environment, exhibits only worst behaviour. They never switch to the present from their past programming. They can really cause havoc to the corporate culture. Some bosses do exhibit such dangerous behaviour in most corporate. The HR should diagnose such people early and the appropriate corrective actions have to be initiated to protect and preserve the sanctity of the corporate culture.

No corporate should limit their management expertise flowing from the business schools alone. Approach towards learning the management essentials from nature should form an important dimension of the corporate governance. The HR function must understand this essential very sensitively.
Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai

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

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