Summary of The Biology of Business

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The Biology of Business book summary
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Like any compendium whose chapters were written by different experts, The Biology of Business has its ups and downs. As a collection of ten deeply informed essays on complexity theory management, its voices vary. But when you’re in the perilous business of trying to predict just where the cutting-edge of technology will cut next, is that really a bad thing? The diversity and scope - what is now fashionably called "bandwidth" - of this volume surely could not be matched by any single author’s work. As you read through topics as diverse as law, marketing, nurturing start-ups and the application of advanced biological concepts to management, you will indeed find yourself challenged to adapt. That’s as it should be. Reading this book may change the way you perceive your business. As the biological paradigm continues to spread through consultants’ minds like a complex adaptive mold spore, getAbstract.com strongly recommends this sophisticated book to help you stay au currant.

About the Author

Editor John Henry Clippinger III, CEO of Lexeme, is considered a leading thinker on self-organizing systems. A former director of intellectual capital at Coopers & Lybrand, he lives in Cambridge, MA. Contributors to this volume include W. Brian Arthur of the Sante Fe Institute, William G. Macready, of the Business Innovation Center, Ernst & Young, David Stark of Columbia University and John Julius Sviokla, of Diamond Technology Partners.

 

Summary

Biology and Your Business

A new theoretical framework has emerged to help you understand the increasingly disruptive changes affecting your business. The framework relates to Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), sometimes also referred to as Self-Organizing Systems. Artificial intelligence, the human immune response system and the human neurological system are examples of complex systems that organize themselves in ways that enable them to adapt to change. Unlike the mechanical, engineering-driven underpinnings of so many current business models, CAS draws its concepts from evolutionary biology and ecology. This approach views all systems - genetic, ecological, cultural, economic - as subject to the pressures of natural selection. As such, they are less hierarchical and more capable of adaptive change than systems constructed by man. The challenge is to apply the biological model to real-world business situations.

An Organizational Fitness Test

Fitness is a key concept in evolutionary biology. An organism is considered fit if it is able to successfully reproduce itself over several generations. All self-organizations find they must negotiate two challenges: too ...


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