Secrets of business and organisational longevity

Thanks to Dinesh Tantri for pointing me to an interesting article on way back in 1999 entitled "The organic enterprise thrives on your knowledge" which got me thinking about "organisational longevity". [Originally Published June 2005].

Ancient ForestImage:

The article explores one of the fundamental, but often forgotten reasons why organisations, enterprises, teams and communities should adopt biological principles - they will live much longer if they do!

"Companies, like any species, are organic entities whose survival requires carving out a territory within a dynamic ecosystem. They are not -- as some executives and consultants claim -- machines that can be reengineered, reorganized or reprogrammed"

Referencing "Bionomics: Economy as Ecosystem" by Michael Rothschild, 1990, the author scorns technology companies without any long-term plan and whose "entire reason for being was to sell out to Microsoft".

This was, as we all now know, a chillingly accurate prediction of the crash which was still a year or so away (early 2000).

Arie de Geus writing in The Living Company explains how even the Fortune 500 companies don't generally make it beyond 50 years because their underlying model of operation becomes more economic than biological.

A notable exception to the 50-year rule is Du Pont which started off as a "purveyor of gunpowder" and has achieved the distinction of being one of the "world's oldest continuously operating companies" through a "mastery of continuous adaption and evolution".

So if you want to achieve longevity in your business enterprises and teams the price you have to pay is operating on biological principles like all living systems.

About Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson delivers keynote conference speeches, workshop facilitation and in-house consultancy in four key business areas:

  1. Creating High Performing Teams in enterprises including Virtual and Mobile Teams (based on the Bioteams Book)
  2. Establishing effective Collaborative Business Networks enabling companies to co-operate effectively in areas such as sales and product development (based on the book - The Networked Enterprise)
  3. How to use the latest social media technologies including blogging and online communities to promote enterprises, brand, organisation or event
  4. Development of graphical on-line interactive Business Dashboards and What-if Simulators for organisations to support Performance Improvement, Strategy Development and Executive Team Development.


Comments (0)| Related (3) |

Print this article

1 Comment

Ken, great presentation at the Collaboration Event in London. I have used the ecosystems approach in my book on transformation of financial services (sold out in hard copy but available as PDfs. I will forward the link) and one of the books I use a lot is a book by James F. Moore "The death of competition". He also wrote a lot of interesting articles on the Web. And we are also using a similar approach in team-building training.

I have almost finished an eBook on winning and sharing online in membership-sites and online niche markets/communities. They also evolve as dynamic ecosystems.



Bioteams Books Reviews

The Truth about Office Life

The Truth about Office Life
David Bolchover, author of The Living Dead: The Truth about Office Life, writing for the UK Times Newspaper in “Sickness at work: the big story” asks the big question: Why do smaller companies have fewer absences? And what can the big corporations do?

Buy it now from:


continue reading

Click here to check all Bioteams book reviews

Ken's LinkedIn Profile

Follow Ken's Blogs

NASA Widget2_160x40.jpg


Featured Categories

Trending Topics

agility analytics ants autopoiesis bees biomimicry bioteaming bioteams change management collaboration Collaboration collective intelligence community complex systems dashboards digital dashboards ecosystems excel experiential learning flock games high-performing teams HPT innovation leadership learning meetings mobile phones organizational teams penguins pheromones self-managed teams serious games simulators social media Social Networks social networks social software swarm swarm intelligence swarmteams teams teamwork The Networked Enterprise tit for tat VEN videos virtual communities virtual enterprise virtual enterprise networks virtual teams visualization web2.0 wisdom of crowds

Click for more...

Featured Article

Team joining hands

The secret DNA of high-performing virtual teams

Bioteaming – the secret to high-performing, self-organising, virtually networked teams... more

Locations of visitors to this page

Bioteams iphone app
Bioteams android app


Bioteams Lite


Latest Full Articles

Bioteams Assessor - Instantly check how good your team is?
BioScore Calculator – Instantly see if you need Bioteams
Discover Bioteams principles Yourself via Action Learning

Bioteams Manifesto

Communities and Networks Connection

Bioteams Ice-Breaker Zone

Only Fools and Horses Video Clip Funny Team Collaboration Video Dilbert Mission Statement Generator Ali G Video Funny Red Dwarf Video  FatherTed  Pixar

News Feed

Sign up for RSS   RSS Feed Subscription
        (What's RSS?)

10 Most popular posts

Recent posts


Download Browsealoud