About the ‘carnivorous plants’ and ‘carnivorous bosses’ the corporate, its HR function and employees must know, learn and understand. A bit of botany knowledge or evolution of plants is good for the corporate and its HR to govern and administer the people at all levels.

In the process of evolution, some plants have adapted to live in a soil which is free of any nutrients especially the nitrogenous elements. When the nitrogenous elements are poor or absent but the sun light is heavy, certain plants developed an innovative way to survive and thus become carnivorous (hunting) plants. The carnivorous plants have different mechanisms to trap various animals like insects, small birds, mammals etc.

The most interesting thing about the carnivorous plants is that they cannot survive well in nutrient rich soil if they are relocated. They have developed carnivorous behaviour to obtain their nutrient requirement. Only by exercising the predatory behaviour, they meet their nutrient requirements and they cannot accept the same if we provide through manure. The carnivorous plants grow poorly or may even die if nutrients are provided to them.

The message is loud and clear. Many corporate bosses do behave like carnivorous plants. They always look for an opportunity to hunt the subordinates. Even the best performing subordinates are there in their team, but still they cannot accept it but have to hunt them.

These bosses strongly believe that their performance lies in hunting or preying the subordinates and hence the performance and the performance capability of the subordinates are not a matter of concern to them. These bosses can survive only through ‘their definition’ and hence the ‘others’ around them are immaterial to them.

If you provide nutrient to a carnivorous plant, it refuse to accept and then go for hunting. It has a limitation that it has to hunt and obtain its nutrients. It loves to live with its limitation. Ironically, its exclusive dependence on its limitation does cause severe limitation to its survival and hence the cycle continues.

People with such behaviour in corporate knows only hunting for survival. Identify them and see how best you can educate/change them. If they continue to behave like a carnivorous plant, remove them as they may cause great instability to your organization.

HR function needs to learn several unknown aspects of people management from nature and only then they can lead the people towards execution excellence and organic/composite growth of the organization.

Ref: Management book – Jungle wisdom for corporate management – lessons from university of nature by Swami Sukhabodhananda and Dr S Ranganathan

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