How to build a company that will last 100 years: a fascinating introduction to the 6 principles of biological thinking in business

The current focus on short-term returns is central to a market-driven economy. But what if this was the very reason for which companies fail?

Martin Reeves explains how in the world of nature, the most successful and enduring constructs – species, bodily functions, or even social groups – all use 6 main principles.

They are:
– redundancy
– diversity
– modularity
– adaptation
– prudence
– embeddedness

It’s easy to see how the constant quest for efficiency in nowadays’ companies is directly at odds with some of these principles.

Diversity for instance is about making sure that you don’t have all of your eggs in the same basket, yet investors push for ever more focused companies.

Embeddedness means to be closely knit with your stakeholders, like Toyota is with its network of providers. However most companies forsake such closeness for the cheapest partner, in a quest to reduce costs.

In marketing, such a struggle exists, between the short-term ROIs which determine the existence of next year’s budget, and the much more meaningful lifetime value of a customer.

Efficient companies and products do very well. For a time. In a world that is changing faster every day, would it not be more effective to be less efficient?