Nature Emulation in Management
Large numbers are everywhere. Just by looking at the number of fish in a fish schools or the number of flocking birds and marshalling ants and number of bees in a hive will raise our eyes with surprise. How come that despite these huge numbers they all manage with simple rules? beBee has millions of subscribers and the number is on the rise. How can Javier beBee manage such large number?
We experience the same observation in our bodies. Let numbers talk to see the bewilderment. The number of molecules and cells in humans varies between people greatly but assuming the human body contains between 10^13 and 10^14 cells. The number of molecules per cell also has high variability but is estimated to be 23 trillion per cell from this site. This provides an estimate of 10^27 molecules in the human body, a seemingly unfathomable number. Can we learn how to manage large numbers by emulating nature? This is an important question because we have mega corporations, huge number of options and a great number of possible paths to take.
It amazes me that the human body manage its huge number of cells and molecules with great simplicity. I concluded from my study of this managerial issue the simple trick nature and our bodies use to manage large numbers, it is keep it simple by doing more of the same. Let me explain.
The a typical human of 70 kg, there are almost 7*1027 atoms (that's a 7 followed by 27 zeros!) Another way of saying this is "seven billion billion billion." Of this, almost 2/3 is hydrogen, 1/4 is oxygen, and about 1/10 is carbon. These three atoms add up to 99% of the total. Only three atoms make such huge number of molecules in the human body. It is by varying their bonding to produce varieties of molecules that is the secret. It is from simple interactions of three elements that the human body produces large molecules such as peptides and polysaccharides. There are four major classes of biological macromolecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids). Amazing as it is again restricting the types of molecules to four major types. This again results in part from the fact that carbon makes four bonds being tetravalent.
The number four appears frequently in the human body. Four example, amino acids compose of four atoms. These four atoms react to produce different amino acids, which in turn react to form different proteins and enzymes. The sequence and number of amino acids ultimately determine a protein’s shape, size, and function. Proteins and enzymes do specific functions in our bodies. It is achieved simply by the rearrangement of molecules in their structures. From simple interactions and variations, we may produce so many different possibilities. This is the trick.
The DNA chains has four repeating amino acids on its helical structure. The cells form tissues and in turn tissues produce organs and organs produce systems. Number four appears again. Proteins have four levels of protein structure: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary.
I could continue with more examples. However; it is my intention that we build chains of people with different functions by simply following four simple rules. If the equivalent of a cell in a human body is the worker, then we may learn a lot from our bodies. There are two self-assembly and self-organization fundamentally different mechanisms that are known to generate structures in cells: Self-assembly involves the physical association of molecules into a balanced structure that is stable over time with no need for additional energy. In contrast, self-organization requires the collective action of interacting molecules that are not in energy balance. This means that for the self-organized structure to be maintained, there needs to be a constant input of energy.
The worker is the cell-equivalent in an organization body. If we don’t get the structure of the cell right then we build an unhealthy organization. We need to learn from nature and our bodies the art of building a healthy organization using simple building blocks, from which we make little changes that may create the simplest solutions. The complexity of our bodies is the best instructor to learn from the art and science of management.Added in Proof- following the comment of Debasish Majumder below I am adding the DNA of management . This is adapted from the work of the Azide institute on the four styles of management. I opted to put them on a DNA-like structure.
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