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Articles Tagged With: "biomimicry"

Keeping Virtual Teams Focused In The Pandemic Era

Well, a-lot has changed in the last few months. I don't want to be cliched by saying this, but we are now officially living in 'unprecedented' and dynamic times. Economies have tumbled, organisations that relied on open office spaces and hot desking as modes of productivity have switched entirely to distributed and virtual working from home. Not to forget, other words in the mainstream have surfaced with strong degrees of truth, such as the fact that the need to adapt and pivot business models is more important now than ever! Re-inventing the value chain within executive teams now occur virtually, involve everyone in the organisation and virtual meeting toll Zoom has definitely inherited some great PR, user adoption and a booming share price as a result!

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Customer Intelligence and Teamwork Drive Innovation

Customer Intelligence and Teamwork Drive Innovation

Innovation happens in many places and has many faces. Enterprises are required to nurture internal processes that work in sync like ecosystems to encourage front line intelligence to feed ideas through to management so that services, products, processes and teamwork ensues collaboratively to deliver benefits to the Value Chain. This requires effective team work and a supporting methodology that aims to treat your team more like an agile soccer team if you think about it so that anyone can effectively take control of the ball and score the goal.

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In the book "Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice" by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen; the core concept of the "Job To Be Done" theory is introduced which is hugely relevant for enterprises wanting to leverage collaborative team work in creating value. The theory stresses that in order to drive organisational product, service and process excellence; we need to focus on alleviating the forces of anxiety, inertia, substitution and resistance across both the customer and employee value chain. Christensen articulates a mechanism to achieve this by firstly creating "specs" that define what outcomes and values are required in order to lead to customers or employees firing old methods, solutions, products and services and adopting new ones. In doing so, the product development team (as an example of a department vested with solving consumer problems) will be satisfied as they have induced consumer adoption either by bringing non-consumption into consuming contexts or working on incremental product and service innovation. Christensen states that "The circumstance is fundamental to defining the job (and finding a solution for it), because the nature of the progress desired will always be strongly influenced by the circumstance".

This is important as traditionally, managers usually follow one of four primary organising principals in their innovation quest (or some composite therefore) being product attributes, customer characteristics, trends and/or competitive response. The challenge here is that these are not bad or wrong but they are essentially sampling of the most common and are insufficient and therefore not predictive of customer behaviours. In this article, I allude to how the Bioteaming action rules across the Organization, Execution and Connectivity Zone facilitates the dynamics required to solve the 'job to be done'.


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How To Optimise Team Size In Uncertain Environments

wolfpack terrain.pngImage Source: Wolf Pack Explains 'Alpha' Behavior

The law of requisite variety (a term originally rooted as the first law of cybernetics) states that "If a system is to be stable, the number of states of its control mechanism must be greater than or equal to the number of states in the system being controlled" . In enterprise contexts, this means that that teams and organisations need to nurture their ability to handle dynamic and complex changes stemming from the external environment and have enough structured capacity to react with collective resources in the face of these stimuli so as to not fail and become a 'un-viable system'.


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The Huffington Post: Biohacking the Organization

The Huffington Post: Biohacking the Organization
An excellent article on Bioteams by Doug Kirkpatrick, US Partner at NuFocus Strategic Group concludes: "The power and elegance of bioteaming is indisputable. Whether organizational leaders will detach themselves from the perceived security blanket of traditional, artificial hierarchy in order to fully experience that power is another question entirely?"

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Top teams understand the 4 different types of Teamwork in Nature

Top teams understand the 4 different types of Teamwork in Nature
What do we mean by "Teamwork"? We often talk about Teamwork as if its a singular thing however in nature there are 4 different types - each of which have a very precise meaning. I call these Solowork, Crowdwork, Groupwork and Teamwork itself. An effective team knows how and when to use each type - an ineffective team only uses one!

*** Stop Press Ken's new book on teams is out A Systematic Guide to High Performing Teams ***


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John Kotters new book: Organisation Biomimicry goes mainstream

John Kotters new book: Organisation Biomimicry goes mainstream
I have just purchased John Kotter's new book XLR8 ("Accelerate") which as well as reworking his previous excellent thinking on change introduces two concepts which resonate with my work - The Dual Operating System and The Big Opportunity. Lets briefly look at each of them.

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Natures Design Guarantees - Bioteams in The Henry Ford Magazine

Natures Design Guarantees - Bioteams in The Henry Ford Magazine

I am delighted to be able to publish a new Bioteams article in the Summer 2014 edition of The Henry Ford Magazine entitled "Teams in Nature". The article summarises the differences between human teams and natures teams in three critical areas: Communications, Leadership and Scalability.


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Smart Bees first to solve complex mathematical problem

Smart Bees first to solve complex mathematical problem

Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London and Royal Holloway have discovered that bees learn to fly the shortest possible route between flowers even if they discover the flowers in a different order. In doing this they are effectively solving the challenging 'Travelling Salesman Problem' and despite their small brains are the first creatures discovered who can do this.


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Teams and Nature: New Video

Teams and Nature: New Video

I have collaborated with Jeff Peel and his Business Evidence Thought-Leadership blog to produce a new 4-minute video on Natural Teams - how we can use simple ideas from nature, sports teams and families to radically improve our work teams.


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The 3 ways great teams make decisions: video clip

The 3 ways great teams make decisions: video clip

I spoke at the inaugural TEDx event in Belfast on March 23 on "The 7 secrets of High-Performing Teams". Here is a link to a nice blog post by Alan in Belfast on the whole Belfast TEDx event with a collection of short video interviews with all the speakers.


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The 15 Coolest Cases of Biomimicry

The 15 Coolest Cases of Biomimicry
Brainz.org has a very good article which gives 15 excellent examples of designs inspired by nature (biomimicry or biomimetics).

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Bioteams Practitioners Network: Update

Bioteams Practitioners Network: Update
I would just like to thank the many people who expressed their interest so enthusiastically in The Bioteams Practitioners Network and to let everyone know I have their contact details and will arrange a time to talk before the planned launch in the New Year. Also if you missed it here is the link to the original post. Best Regards Ken Thompson

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Wired Magazine features Bioteams

Wired Magazine features Bioteams
Are you smarter than a goose? Sure you are -- one on one. But when it comes to working efficiently, you and your colleagues can't touch the gaggle. According to author Ken Thompson, geese and other animals that naturally form groups have a lot to teach us about business. In a theory he calls organizational biomimetics, Thompson lays out the principles underlying nature's management strategies. So what can you learn from a bird or an ant? Take a gander. Katharine Gammon at Wired Magazine reports.

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Bioteams and Social Networks: New Audio Presentation

Bioteams and Social Networks: New Audio Presentation
Ken Thompson, author of Bioteams and The Networked Enterprise, gives a 25 minute introduction to bioteams and describes how it can be applied to make social networks, fan groups, virtual communities and business networks more agile, intimate, satisfying and sustainable. The presentation also addresses todays big question - "How do you get engagement in a large group?"

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Nature Inspired Design Templates

Nature Inspired Design Templates
In a BusinessWeek Special Report, February 2008, Matt Vella reports on how Janine Benyus, dean of the burgeoning "biomimicry" design movement, helps companies look to the natural world to help take their business green.


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Bioteaming is biomimicry of social structures

Bioteaming is biomimicry of social structures
Janine Benyus, talking at TED, describes biomimicry as learning an idea from an organism and then applying it - the conscious emulation of life's genius. Bioteaming, then, is the biomimicry of social structures- taking ideas from Nature about how groups perform and intra-operate, and applying them to enhance how we humans work together in groups and teams. Doug Philips aka teamite#222* and bioteams guest author muses.

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Sniffer bees firm seeks funds

Sniffer bees firm seeks funds
Rory Cellan-Jones reports on Inscentinel, a young British company,
which trains bees to detect explosives without harming them The bees are trained by rewarding them with sugar whenever they detect the target substance.

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Evolutionary algorithms now surpass human designers

Evolutionary algorithms now surpass human designers
New Scientist magazine reports that with the availability of ever more powerful computers, the advent of distributed computing "grids" and the emergence of multicore chips, evolutionary or genetic algorithms are now developing better designs than human designers. However there are concerns that some of these designs may be unpredictable as no human designer knows exactly how they work.

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Swarm intelligence and business process optimization

Swarm intelligence and business process optimization

Dancing bees help businesses describes how researchers at Cardiff University have developed an algorithm based on the honeybee waggle dance to help companies optimize their business processes.


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Biologically inspired design conference

Biologically inspired design conference

The Center for Biologically-Inspired Design at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta have announced a conference in Biologically Inspired Design in Science and Engineering on May 10-12.


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KenThompson

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  • The Huffington Post: Biohacking the Organization
    An excellent article on Bioteams by Doug Kirkpatrick, US Partner at NuFocus Strategic Group concludes: "The power and elegance of bioteaming is indisputable. Whether organizational leaders will detach themselves from the perceived security blanket of traditional, artificial hierarchy in order...
  • Social design inspired by nature: Positive Impact Magazine
    Excellent article by Positive Impact Magazine which reviews the growing field of Organizational Biomimicry and showcases Bioteams, the Biomimicry Institute and Honeybee Democracy. Nice examples of what we have learned from pigeons, bees, beetles, termites, geese, shrimps and even fungi....
  • New Deloitte Collaboration Study laments meetings & distractions costs
    According to a new Deloitte Australia report, The Collaborative Economy, overlong meetings, distractions and failed projects are costing their economy $5.4 billion per annum....

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