March 2006


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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Team Leadership development: nurture good followers

John Austin, writing in his excellent blog, Tag your Team, references research by Robert Kelley on ‘followership’ which examines two different traits of behaviour in team members: critical thinking and pro-activity.


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Social Network Analysis: an introduction

Social Network Analysis: an introduction

Any social organisation from the smallest team to the largest enterprise carries with it a social network. Until recently these social networks were largely invisible to the organisations which depended on them. Now Social Network Analysis or SNA is a hot topic but what is it, where did it come from and how does it work: Richard Cross, bioteams.com Guest Author, explains.


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Staff motivation: workplace apathy rampant

BBC News reports in Workforce suffers afternoon apathy on new research by ICM that more than 40% of the total UK workforce are said to be suffering from "afternoon apathy" which is costing the British economy at least £3.9 billion a year.


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Mobile workforce and collaboration technology: the new CIO focus

A post on hosting365.com, CIO Role Shift: Internal to External (March 17), quotes a new Gartner report as suggesting that the role of the CIO (Chief Information Officer) in enterprises is changing into a much more externally focused one. The report also suggests that two of the key technologies for the CIO in 2006 will be mobile workforce enablement and collaboration technologies.



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Enhance team performance by consistent individual behavior

Enhance team performance by consistent individual behavior

A key principle of bioteams is team member self-management. Nature's teams achieve this through a surprisingly small number of simple rules which operate at the individual member level and result in sophisticated team behaviour. For example, complex 'bird flocking' behaviour can be simulated on a computer using just three rules. I propose that human bioteams can be effectively self-managed in a sophisticated way by adopting a small set of "model behaviours" at the individual team member level.


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Swarm behavior and organizational teams

Swarm behavior and organizational teams

Frank Lacombe of the Evolutionary and Swarm Design Group at the University of Calgary offers a good introduction to the concept of Swarm Behavior. Using examples of ants, bees, birds, fish, and termites he identifies the two main advantages of such decentralized systems: robustness and flexibility. The objective of bioteaming is to realise these same two swarm behavior advantages in organisational teams and inter-organisational business networks.


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Collaboration versus self sufficiency: an enlightening parable

Collaboration versus self sufficiency: an enlightening parable

In today's hyper-individualistic world we often behave as if collaboration with others is a nice ideal but not absolutely essential. We believe that as highly equipped and capable modern individuals we can get most of what we need done by ourselves - alone if we need to.


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Social Network Design tips

Social Network Design tips

In ‘How to build your network’, by Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap, Harvard Business Review December 2005, the authors argue that strong personal networks don’t just happen but need careful cultivation involving ‘relatively high-stakes activities’ with diverse groups of people.


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What teams can learn from bees

Mike Gill, beekeeper at Bee Plus Ltd, writing in a short article, Have you ever been badly stung? shares two key facts about bees which are directly relevant to organisational teams.


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