The circumference of a man’s waist has a correlation with the level of his happiness. It’s not a spurious correlation at the least there’s some truth to that assertion that weight gain and state of mind are companions on the same highway of life. Thanks to the fitness Industry the Mantra “Trim the Fat” has caught on with public’s imagination and lesser the fat the leaner and meaner you are. Fitness industry has no exclusive rights to the caption “Trim the Fat” and the Corporate World has taken the cue from the Fitness Industry and joined the bandwagon and given an altogether different context with their Motto “The More Leaner and Meaner We are The more in Business we are”. Their passion for the adage “Trim the fat” reflected in the huge layoffs they announce from time to time with much fanfare and no much compunction. Corporate Layoffs are the sad truth of the life in the twenty first century and we are constantly reminded of the evils of capitalism when we frequently are treated to the news bytes of Layoffs in the media and we shrug it off as its someone else’s problem not ours reflecting the nature of the society as a whole. The workings of the Corporate world has a lot in common with the famous pyramids not the pyramids of Egypt but the Energy Pyramids of life with the apex predators on the top and the producers on the lowest ranks of the pyramids.
The Top Carnivores of the energy pyramid are like the CEO’s of the modern corporation with the primary carnivores and the herbivores fitting the ranks of senior level management and middle level management. The comparison seem endless with the employees in the organization playing a very similar role to the producers in the energy pyramid. The take home point so glaring “How the producers can live off independently and the rest just resting on the produce of the producers”. Manmade corporations faithfully follow the natures laws captured in the energy pyramid with the Lion King ruling the roost.
The modern Lion Kings of the Corporate I mean the CEO’s do make headlines for their heavy fat compensation triggering a lot of debate about Corporate Greed. Here again the nature of compensation so justified in the corporate world has its blessings in the story of the Lions Share an Aesop’s Fable.
The Lion went once a-hunting along with the Fox, the Jackal, and the Wolf. They hunted and they hunted till at last they surprised a Stag, and soon took its life. Then came the question how the spoil should be divided. “Quarter me this Stag,” roared the Lion; so the other animals skinned it and cut it into four parts. Then the Lion took his stand in front of the carcass and pronounced judgment: The first quarter is for me in my capacity as King of Beasts; the second is mine as arbiter; another share comes to me for my part in the chase; and as for the fourth quarter, well, as for that, I should like to see which of you will dare to lay a paw upon it.”
No one to question the Might lion ah? So true
Oh I almost forgot about how I started the article putting onus on “Trim the Fat”. It’s all about the modern day savagery the corporate CEO’S unleash in the name of layoffs to please the shareholders and a modern day fable comes to my rescue in depicting the irony of a layoff and the poor employees who suffer the Lions Wrath.
Every day, a small ant arrives at work and starts work immediately without anyone’s monitoring. She produces a lot and she was happy.
The Chief of the company, a lion, was surprised to see that the ant was working without any supervision. He thought to himself: “If the ant can produce so much without supervision, wouldn’t she produce more if had a supervisor?”
So the lion recruited a cockroach who had “extensive experience” as a supervisor and who was “famous” for writing excellent reports. Now what did the roach do?
His first and foremost decision was to set up a clocking in attendance system. After all he needed that to track the sole employee of the company, an ant who arrived to work before anybody else did!
Next he needed a secretary to help him write and type his reports.
And last but not the least he recruited a spider, who managed the archives and monitored phone calls. After all the roach needed to see where the ant whiled away time.
The lion was delighted with the cockroach’s reports and asked him to produce graphs to describe production rates and to analyze trends, so that he could use them for presentations at Board meetings.
Now the roach had to buy a new computer and a laser printer to produce trendy reports. Not only that, he recruited a fly to manage the IT (Information Technology) “Department”.
The ant who had once been so productive and relaxed, hated this new plethora of paperwork and meetings which used up most of his time.
The Chief (who else but King Lion!) came to the conclusion that it was high time to nominate a person in charge of the department where the ant worked.
The position was given to a cicada, whose first decision was to buy a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his office.
He also needed a computer and a PA (Personal Assistant). So he brought them over from his previous department. They would increase productivity and the bottom line by helping him to prepare a “Work and Budget Control Strategic Optimization Plan.”
Around this time, the cicada convinced The Chief, the lion, of the absolute necessity to start a climactic study of the environment!
The “department” where the ant works is now a sad place where nobody laughs anymore and everybody has become upset
The Chief, the lion, reviewed the charges for running the ant’s department and found out that the production was much less than before.
So he recruited an owl, who was a prestigious and renowned consultant, to carry out an audit and suggest solutions. The owl spent three months and came up with an enormous report, in several volumes, that concluded: “The department is overstaffed …..”
Guess who the lion fires first?
The ant of course! Because he showed: “Lack of motivation and had a negative attitude.” – Ants Fable
Poor Ant !! Kudos to the workings of the corporate world.