Guest Article: Shyam G Iyer: Corporate Animals

By Shyam G Iyer , Tata Teleservices, New Delhi | In Marketing
Last updated : May 02, 2013
"It's a jungle out there" is very true when it comes to the modern-day workplace. The corporate animal has a lot in common with its jungle counterparts when it comes to displaying unique traits and characteristics. Let us look at a few obvious ones.

Shyam G Iyer

The Chameleon

They are usually spotted across all kinds of offices as they thrive across diverse corporate cultures and climates. Their ability to change colours and camouflage their identity makes up for their lack of skills, and also guarantees their survival, if not growth. An unusually long and sticky tongue helps them devour unsuspecting preys and their camouflaging skills keep them insured against the worst recessions. The chameleon is a champ of all sorts; he/she is at equal ease with one and all and knows exactly the rules of the game to survive.

The Fox

Sly and cunning, they can be best described as opportunistic feeders. Wary of trusting others, they fiercely guard their territory and do not mind feeding on someone else's kill. All that matters is the carcass, and they can play both the predator as well as the scavenger to suit any situation. You can spot the corporate fox in the board-room making the right noises when it matters the most, or near the water cooler conspiring against a newbie recruit. Once identified, it is best to steer clear from the fox!

The Happy Hippos

Generally content and blissfully lazy without a reason, the Hippos can spend close to 16 hours a day sleeping or just lazing around in water. Boardroom Hippos have a striking resemblance to their jungle counterparts. Forever at loss when it comes to understanding timelines and urgencies, for them good work is built on the foundation of patience, an eye for detail and a systematic approach. If SLA says three days, why deliver earlier? Hippos have to be dealt with a fair degree of patience. Hippos respond best when discussed in person, and are usually not friends with technology and gizmos. Hippos can take power-naps with eyes wide open. They can look deceptively involved as they nod their heads in agreement during meetings, while actually lost in their own world.

The Ox

Domestic, hard-working and loyal, this is one species that quietly goes about its daily chores without uttering a word. Trained to respond to the signals of its master, the Ox is neither ambitious nor scheming or aggressive. It is quiet, hard-working and fairly chilled out. These unique qualities make an Ox a 'must-have' species for any employer in the corporate jungle. You can find them almost everywhere around you, never perturbed about inflation or increments or never a part of the rat-race that most other species are into. Think 'long-tenure', you'll find an ox around you!

Cool Chimps

They are perhaps the most intelligent lot in the jungle and comparatively smarter and sharper than most other animals. Several experiments have established their superiority over other animals like self-awareness and ability to empathise. Chimps are certainly the special lot, and when it comes to the corporate world the story is the same. Relatively more evolved, aware, mature and sharper, the chimps grab faster promotions and meatier roles as they are always a step ahead amongst their peers. Not hard to spot one, think of the consistent star-performers within your group - well, they are the chimps, after all.

The Slimy Snake

This one needs no introduction, be it the boardroom or the jungle. Supremely capable of striking at the most unsuspecting moment, modern-day snakes are also referred as back-stabbers and opportunists. The silent predators are creepy as they slither along quietly, waiting for the right moment to put its venom to best use.

The Catty Colleague

They just love attention. They love staying in the spotlight, they cherish being talked about and usually see a halo around their head (in the mirror). Cats are everywhere. Sending unnecessary 'CCs' for them is perfectly justified, as they'd rather the entire unit notices their efforts. Following up the mail with a 'Forward' button-press to the top-dogs is their way of passing the correct, subtle-signals for a generous appraisal. Making the right noises on the phone timed strategically while the boss walks past is nothing short of amplifying their passion at workplace. Yes, cats are everywhere. And remember, a cat has nine lives too.

Shyam Iyer is an advertising and marketing professional who has been a brand management student at top institutes like McCann Erickson, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis India. Currently managing Brand Marketing for Tata Teleservices, Shyam is a keen observer of consumer behaviour and enjoys observing communication trends and insightful marketing practices across categories.

First Published : May 02, 2013

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