Several interesting management lessons the corporate can learn simply from the reproductive ecology of plants.  Let us take the example of the propagation of banana plant.  The plant grows very well, flower, fruit and then dies.  The next generation of banana plants is usually formed from the roots of the pre-existed plant.  


Since the roots facilitate the next generation of the banana plant, all the newly formed plants have to grow together and are also compelled to remain more of less in the same landmass.  When several plants start growing in the same area, naturally the nutrients and other resources would get depleted and soil becomes unfertile as every plant will be competitively utilizing the resources from the given area.  This is the key limiting factor of banana plants in nature as why they do not have great distribution or spread.


All the plants that propagate through roots or underground stem have such limitations as they always have to live in the given space.  By considering the limitation of the plants that propagate through roots only, perhaps the nature would have favoured seed based propagation in many other plants.  The seeds can move away from the parent plant by different means and can get dispersed.    When they get dispersed in a newer area, they can grow well and also can establish their domain there.  They can also avoid over utilization of the nutrients and water in the given habitat.



What lesson the corporate has to learn from the reproductive ecology of plants that propagate through roots or by means of seeds?  Diverse knowledge, skills and the experience one can acquire only from different habitats and that will never be possible from the same habitat. 


If they continue to work in the same organization, their entire knowledge system will be very dormant, limited and highly the organization centric or dependent.  


Whereas, the employees when works in different organizations learn and acquire diverse knowledge management and people management skills.  


Second important aspect they need to learn is about their weak competitive skills like a banana plant, if they continue to live and determined to die in the same organization.  Like banana plant, these people also may grow, flower, fruit and then has to die in the same organization as they can only poorly survive in other corporate. 


Evolution has favoured many plants/trees to experiment in nature so that they could produce many seeds for dispersal.  When the seeds grow into a tree in a distant place, it learns the art of managing the competition and art of competitive growth in that geographic area and such advantage is not available for banana plants.


When the plants evolved to experiment by producing seeds for propagation, many other biotic and a biotic (living and non living) factors have facilitated the seed dispersal.  The plants learn to offer very delicious fruits and intern the animals disperse the seeds.  Whereas many animals and birds although eat the banana fruits, they offer nothing in return to the banana plant. 


The plants that propagate through seeds when acknowledged the selective advantage and superiority of seed based propagation over root based propagation; they also learned to attract/invite and recruit many other animals and birds to work for their cause.  If the employees develop newer skills and diverse experiences from different organizations, naturally many organizations would search for such talents and it is not scarcity of job but plenty of job opportunity they could find.     

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