Inspired by Sean Winter I wanted to share some thoughts on the analogies of how communities actually work in nature and what we can infer and learn from them.
How complex is the communication among cells when individual bacteria join together for multi cellularity? Complex bacterial communication has been noted in previous posts. Each individual microbe joins together with comrades for many different activities including complex communication and decision-making. Bacteria in the gut plan ahead, activating genes for maltose enzymes before they encounter it. Recently, it was found that microbes produce electrical wires, made of amino acids that conduct electricity, and supply distance relatives with energy. They signal to change behavior in the colony including building complex cities called biofilms and altering attack modes in animals. Slime molds show intelligent behavior, remembering where it has already travelled. Individual microbes remember how they moved in the past so they can go in a straight line. Microbes send signals that alter their host’s behavior. In a very complex back and forth communication with plants they together gradually build a nitrogen factory.
|Microbes send signals to alter their hosts behavior||Staff raise important issues within the community which make their way to management and into operational/corporate changes|
|Bacteria in the gut plan ahead, activating genes for maltose enzymes before they encounter it||A well engaged community can raise tougher and tougher issues building forward looking corporate resilience|
|Slime molds show intelligent behavior, remembering where it has already traveled.||Well connected communities create a clearer institutional memory via better access to information and will repeat less of the same mistakes|
|Arrival of wolves to Yellowstone brought with them an amazing equilibrium. The wolves changed even the behavior of the rivers.||Finding out who the "wolves" are of your communities will put your company on a path to social equilibrium|
The wolf pack mentality and Nash's equilibrium
|The community members act on what is best for them and the community, as the wolf does, serving your companies morale and bottom line|
This is just a quick taste. I have many other examples in this vein. Ideas I would like to address at a later point are:
The piranha effect: How communities can obliterate assignments in hrs instead of days
Bees: Who are the cross pollinators of your community
Trees: Large canopy forest trees are connected via fungus in the root systems to provide nitrogen to the saplings who are starved of light (mentoring)
Parrots: Re-posting and echoing concepts
Happy to discuss more. What are some correlations that you see? Nature figured out communities way before we brought them online. Are we learning from it enough?