When Darwin explored ‘survival of fittest’, the ‘emotional intelligence’ was not a developed subject in the new-world. Now, we are very successfully dodging the growth fitness with our hypocrisy.
Like all other human relationships, Industrial Relations (IR) too is the product of our own behavioural variations. Nobody desires bad IR, but it exists in almost every industry at some point of time. While some manage to develop maturity through co-existence, at the earliest, and handle things smoothly, some others keep on struggling towards the destined decay. A lot depends upon the maturity of key handlers at both the ends, because the concepts and people in general are the same everywhere.
There are always two ways to handle any situation—do not let the situation arise in the first place, and if it has already arisen take quick action to cool matters. It is just not possible to have a bunch of people working together, and not having any differences of opinion or personal biases. The trick lies in handling these deviations promptly. This is just like handling a fire. No fire can become devastating if a cup of water is poured to douse it at the very moment it is ignited, that is, at the ‘right time and right place’. However, it is a highly uncertain and skilled job to identify, ascertain and act appropriately on relationship triggers and variables. Even a closely related and emotionally dependent family of two, say wife and husband, or mother and son, will find it difficult to maintain a consistency in emotional alignments.
When Darwin explored the ‘survival of the fittest’, ‘emotional intelligence’ was not a developed subject in the New World. Now, we are very successfully dodging the growth fitness with our hypocrisy. Instead of developing our fitness for survival, we are hypnotising the coming generations and drawing them towards short-cut materialism to speed up the accumulation of wealth through emotionally smarter marketers. The innocent masses are brainwashed to suffer for short-term pleasures, instant ego satiation, and manipulated collectivism.
It was obvious to Darwin that if resources are limited, the fittest one will get to them. But, the accumulation of resources by the fittest to starve others was never the intention. This issue was to be settled by the society and the State, which led to further corruption and power games. The social dynamics changed from supportive coexistence to conflicting dependence.
Industrial relations got jeopardised and victimised in this blind race of accumulative materialism. Both the parties had constant apathy for each other. To resolve it, Marxism took a one-sided extreme view of State materialism, which made it worst due to its unnatural appeal frustrating human rights, emotions and inspirations. Gandhiji tried to resolve the issue through a more suitable trusteeship collaboration, but fell short of time to revolutionise the theory at the conceptual and executive ground level.
Now, with rising free will, the issue revolves around how to synchronise the unbound individual inspirations and diminishing approach towards disciplined hard labour. Darwinism may help us explore a suitable methodology. Complex systems evolve naturally over time from more simplistic pre-forms. As a process of ‘natural selection’, mutations occur to change and preserve the genetic codes that aid the ‘survival of the fittest’. In due course of time, beneficial mutations keep on getting accumulated through generations to shape a new entity. Any egocentric conscious effort to dodge this process for instant success makes the person unfit for survival in the long run.
The Universe works on the pull factor and our ego thrives on the push factor. The pull factor develops close relationships, while the push factor dissociates. Let us examine the fundamentals of the same. The fundamental material of everything in the universe is ‘energy’, and energy co-exists with the same amount of ‘vacuum’. As we all know, vacuum pulls everything, including energy, towards it, to start the process of ‘creation’.
Hence, this combination of energy and vacuum creates ‘matter’ as defined by Einstein as ‘E = mc 2’. The vacuum can be defined as ‘need’ or the demand, and energy as ‘supplement’, that is, the supply. Thus, whenever there is a need, the pull factor works and supply is required. If supply exceeds demand, the pull factor will not work, and there will be surplus, that is, useless and unwanted supply, which will create a chaotic push factor in the system.
The same thing applies to relationships, including Industrial Relations, where demand and supply need to be balanced meticulously. Any overexposure or underexposure derails the growth. Both the overly cared for as well as the uncared for child, will become spoilt.
Therefore, the best way of managing these relations is to define them with their fundamental and executive boundaries, do’s and don’ts, give and takes, etc. and protect them. A deficiency will automatically create a humble pull factor need. However, an accumulative ego will generate a chaotic push, build up heat and result in a blast.
It is best to have in place an auto system to keep watching, reporting, analysing and attending to all the deficiencies, needs, disproportions and unnecessary build-up of heat to avoid blasts. Once there is a blast, it takes more than double the time and resources to reassemble the system and restore it to its original state.
IR derails due to disproportionate agendas and egos of the involved people from either or both the sides. They are the push factors. Let us mean business, give due respect to all, and handle all the issues appropriately. A pull factor will, as the name suggests, pull everyone and everything closer to your heart, and a push factor will push them away. Try! I am talking from my personal experience.
(The author is a regular columnist with HRKatha and is Plant HR Head, Hero MotoCorp.)