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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.