How can we be inspired by nature (on its way to manage living things, ecossystems, etc.) to solve management challenges? Nature is million years old of a harsh competitive environment. The way ecossystems and living beings work and relate has a lot to teach. Biomimicry is a technique used by engineers and designers, now its time to use it for management.
What is the best way to manage a complex system effectivelly? How to grow and be resilient by tapping differences?
Learning how to deal with these challenges is a leap on effective management.
Look at nature and emulate its strategies.
Use the designer and biologists' techniques of biommimicry:
1. Choose a challenge and learn how nature deals with similar problems; or 2. Observe nature and be inspired by its work. Link it to management challenges and functions.
Going beyond the metaforical, we can see an example on how colonies of ants acomplish big endeavours, or how ecossytems rely on a web of relations and informations to grow and prosper (even with all internal competition between species, the ecossystem adapts to different situations.
To give a design's example of biomimicry innovation: The strongest fibers known by man are made of bugs (the spider web), not oil or metals. Birds have tiny brains and still they fly and perform complex manovers.
The practical impacts would depend on the situation. But overall would be innovative ways to deal with old problems of management.
By copying nature's strategies we can have more "natural" organizations, where people need less control to work for a greater goal and diversity is really an asset.
I'm not so clear of the practical impacts, but I am dying to see them!
I like taking is small first. Maybe test drive a biomimicry business strategy on a specific business unit, or one small-impact nature-inspired strategy and measure its perfomance.
Later we can be bolder and develop full business models based on nature's way of work.
Well, myself and all people from biomimicry (mainly biologists and designers)