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What can your business learn from studying nature?

In the natural world, as in the business world, there is a struggle for survival.

Failure means you will fall behind in the struggle for survival.
In the natural world there is a finite volume of food; each organism must compete for its share of the supply.

Failure means extinction.

In the business world there is a finite volume of money and each organisation must compete for its share of the supply.

Failure means extinction.

In the natural world there is an evolutionary race continually being run with all organisms experimenting with new methods of obtaining food and using it to further its existence and power its development.

In the Business world there is an evolutionary race being run with all organisations experimenting with new methods of obtaining money and then using it to further its existence and power its own development.

So a business organisation can be seen like a biological organism: operating according to the rules of Darwinian natural selection in order to:

  • Survive
  • Grow
  • Multiply

So, we might ask:

  • What are the characteristics of successful organisms?
  • What can business learn from studying nature?
  • What can we observe, that exists in all examples of successful organisms that we might then "Reverse engineer" in order to gain insights into what a business organisation must do in order to succeed.

Succeed means:

  • Survive
  • Grow
  • Multiply

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Notice that all Successful organisms and successful organisations share similar qualities:

They all:

  1. Specialise
  2. Keep working
  3. Waste no energy
  4. Advertise their presence to those who need to know
  5. Evolve


Nature does not accept poor performance.

If you are the slow rabbit: the fox will soon find you out. If you are a rabbit, you must learn to run.
If you are a poor hunter, starvation awaits your family: if you are a predator: you must learn to hunt.
If you are a lazy lion, the pride will not be impressed.

Nature demands that you are good at what you do.

If you are a sales person, you had better learn to sell (not just record orders)
If you are a team leader, then you had better learn how to lead a team.

The marketplace demands that you are good at what you do: because eventually the bad business will lose its customers.

Conclusion: Improve your skills, products and services.

They keep working

Nature is always occupied: Building, storing, preparing, organising.
You might rest in your garden but your garden never rests. It keeps building.

WHY? Because, nature has a rule: work or die!
In business the same rule applies.
If you don't work, you don't eat!

Conclusion drawn from nature:

  • Don't rest for very long
  • Keep working
  • Don't let laziness or complacency set in

Waste no energy

In nature, energy is carefully husbanded.
You won't see your cat wasting energy.

Energy is a precious commodity; and recently, we have all been made more aware of the high value of energy.
Energy efficiency is vital.

Conclusion: Don't waste your time, money or energy.

Don't waste your energy on anything that does not add to your capacity to:

  1. Survive
  2. Grow
  3. Multiply

They advertise their products to those who need to know

Nature knows the value of partnerships

So it developed ways to make sure that the organism who is selling, advertises nicely to those who may want to buy.

In Nature, the sellers' market themselves to the buyers.

  • Flowers advertise themselves to bees
  • Peacocks put on a good show
  • Insects produce chemical advertisements

Conclusion; your organisation should remember that it is primarily in the business of selling because without customers, you have got Nothing!

Keep evolving

Evolution is the most powerful force in nature.
Evolution says that staying the same is not a viable option,

Because the competition is always striving to improve, relative to you.

If you decide to stay the same, you are in fact falling behind.

Unless you keep growing and evolving, you will be "targeted for termination".

  1. Rover cars found that out
  2. So did Woolworth's


Keep thinking forwards into the future and evolve your way out of trouble and into success.

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