Lateral Views: Corporate Herds!!!

According to WikiThe term herd mentality is derived from the word “herd,” meaning group of animals, and “mentality,” implying a certain frame of mind. However the most succinct definition would be: how large numbers of people act in the same ways at the same times. Herd behavior describes how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction. The term pertains to the behavior of animals in herds, flocks, and schools, and to human conduct during activities such as stock market bubbles and crashes, street demonstrations, sporting events, episodes of mob violence and even everyday decision making, judgment and opinion forming.

Well if you think this behavior is confined to the chaos world of crowded random surroundings only and it cannot happen in a sophisticated environment like the corporate world, I guess you need to re think about it, at least after going through the below observations and I’m pretty sure you would have partied to one or the other or at least seen it.

Fiddling with mobile…when you see someone doing it

This to me is the most common form.

Be it presentation or meeting or workstation bay area, if you closely observe any gathering of at least two or more people, you’ll find that the moment someone brings up his cell phone for some particular reason, the rest of the people will follow suit as if he/she has an urgent text to be sent.  Well if it was that case where an urgent call/text requirement comes up suddenly then, I need an explanation for:

  • Why didn’t they send it previously? Why do they have to wait for that person?
  • How come there is such a big and consistent coincidence among so many people so many times?

 Opening laptop…

This is confined mainly to a presentation room or a workshop, where most of the people get to bring their laptop. Initially, attendants will not bother much about checking mails or doing something on his/her laptop. The moment they hear someone looking for a LAN port or plug point to charge his/her laptop, the rest of the herd will try and connect their laptop.

This is one such time where I think companies sinned by not providing blackberry to everyone because with the tick of every second the mailbox also seem to tick for new “need to be closed immediately” mail.

Wearing Tie…Even a jacket

I thought tie or jacket was just another clothing material which should be worn as per individual choice or comfortability. However it seems to be much more then that. Tie seems to be like a weapon, which needs to be matched t to t against people who are around.

If you observe closely, not only will people wear tie if majority of the crowd wears it or most people in the same team wears it, but they will also untie if they see that no one is wearing or majority of the people are not wearing.

My only contention is if anyway you have brought it and anyway you have already worn it why bother so much about the wearing or not wearing? If you disturb the tie too much you end up disturbing the crease and you know unlike a shirt or trouser managing crease in tie is much tougher and also you have limited collection. 

Exchange of visiting cards…

Some organization or certain profiles are culturally designed to give away their visiting card whenever they meet new people.

At the same time their are enough numbers who are not attuned to such behavior. However, even such people will be stocked up with enough visiting cards in their drawer. And whenever they are meeting people for the first time, they will ensure they carry enough visiting cards with them. But, if you observed closely, they will end up not giving away a single visiting card because no one in the meeting brings up their visiting card for exchange. However if a herd leader initiate the exchange process, they will gladly follow it.

My only conclusion is that not only are we a SOCIAL ANIMAL but the ANIMAL INSTINCT is running deep in our Conscious, Subconscious and Id. No matter how sophisticated we may think of our selves that PERSPECTIVES, PARADIGM, COMPETENCIES, MATRICES, et al are embaded in our tounge, we corporates are just BUFFALO SOLDIERS, march pasting as per the mooing of the buffalo king



PS: Read more on how so much of our behaviour is part of our evolutionary biology in the Coffe Break Section

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