Have we ever asked the question as why plants produce so many numbers of flowers? The plant Cassia fistula popularly called as ‘golden shower tree’ can tell how prodigal they are during late spring. The cassia fistula plant flower during late spring and in most instances, the tree is filled only with golden yellow coloured flowers and nothing else. Even the leaves are hard to see in those plants during flowering season.
Are the plants prodigal? Do they need to be so aggressive in their reproduction and procreation? Is nature so rude and cruel to them and hence they have to ‘use the chance to their favour’, hence large number of flowers and seeds are produced.
Look at the specialties of golden shower plant. It can easily live in arid and hot zones. Requires less water, can withstand hot and cold. Can live and grow in plains and on slopes of a mountain. Even it can resist salinity of the soil and survive in saline environment. The story of its adaptation will tell us that the nature is indeed kind and supportive to the plant to live in wherever it has to or it wish to.
Despite having all the advantages why the plant still incur such a huge expense in producing so innumerable flowers. The plant even shed its leaves to prevent transpiration led water loss in order to support the abundant flowers it has produced, until pollination is complete.
Is the approach of golden shower plant wise or unwise?
A great resource management insight every corporate must learn from the plant Cassia fistula. Perhaps, the plant may be of the philosophy that producing more flowers means more seeds and more seeds mean more new plants. For the above cause, it is worth being ‘prodigal’.
But do they get any reward proportional to their expenditure. The simple answer would be no. The cassia plants are seen only in the places where most other plants generally fail to grow. It means, cassia could grow easily in the places that are not so favourable to many plants in general.
The irony is that the cassia plant despite having produced so much of flowers and seeds, still it could not exploit the best ‘soil’.
Many corporate do follow the same management principle unknowingly. By way of competing with MNC’s, they incur huge investment for giving advertisement to their ‘primitive/ordinary’ or ‘mass market’ products. Their belief is that giving advertisement means they can carve a premium image to the products and can enhance sales. But, in all probability, they fail to reap any profit out of their expense.
The reason being, they are expert only in meeting the needs of ‘mass market’ and are unfit and irrelevant to ‘posh and premium customers’.
Look at the cassia plant. It is expert in growing in places where many other plants may not able to grow. To facilitate seed dispersal and seed germination in such places, the plant has to produce more seeds, hence it does. The expense it incurs towards it, it wisely justifies.
The management lesson of Cassia fistula or golden shower plant is more appropriate for the marketing function of any corporate. Before they invest, they need to know what they propose to see as result. Unless this arithmetic is done correctly in the beginning, all the resources the corporate may siphon out on advertisement to reap net loss, debt and insolvency.
Ref: Management book – Jungle wisdom for corporate management – lessons from university of nature by Swami Sukhabodhananda and Dr S Ranganathan