The Small, but Great Builders

The Small, but Great Builders

Just review the following findings and the facts they reveal:

- Ants colonies may contain 5,000-2,000,000 individuals

- There are millions of neurons in the brain, each producing its own electrical signals. These combined signals generate oscillations known as brain waves

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- The glowworm cave-dwellers which construct their own β€œfishing lines” made of silk with sticky mucous droplets that they can hang down from the ceiling of the cave. The fishing lines glow at night to attract their prey.

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- Millions of termites building a hill with amazing structures of tunnels and passage ways. When living underground termites teach us how tiny creatures can build castles.

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- Fish schools, millions of birds such as locusts and bats flying in synchronicity with each other.

The above examples show that when systems work in huge numbers they have their dynamics. Two important features are that they share a common purpose such as alluring preys and keeping predators away. Survival is a grand purpose that unites individuals.

Having millions of insects, cells or whatever working together isn’t a simple task. We tend to use strict and pages-filled instructions for individuals to follow and abide by. Who is willing to abide by so many rules? In nature we find the answer. It is make simple rules that are easy to accept and follow. In large human organizations that tend to have many strict rules they fail. Rules for annual leaves, rules for work conduct, rules for work hours and the list goes on. Employees find little β€œdisposable times” to attend to the needs of the customers and soliciting ideas from them. The company becomes slave to its rules and fails.

Moving crowds or thousands of employees needs few rules that make interactions between them more important than any agent’s identity. Look at termites or ants and how they can build miraculous colonies. They adopt simple rules and make the communication easy, fast and trustworthy so that they may synchronize their movements. This way the collective power becomes far greater than the sum of the power of individuals summed up.

Making the interactions more important than the individual is a key requirement to building healthy organizations and bodies. An ant or termite may not be aware of its surroundings, but collectively they do. The human neuron may identify a tennis ball, but the collective actions of the neurons let your awareness grow in that you are watching a tennis game. It is the awakening in working collectively.

By following simple rules the millions of agents may find through their synchronized interactions that a new world emerges. The termites didn’t aim for the hill; it emerged. I would dare to add that not only self-organizing groups results; more self-organized structures as well. To give one example, termites living beneath ground build self-organizing regulating structures that regulate oxygen levels, humidity and temperature inside. The best engineers have awakened to the miracles that the tiny termites build with admirable self-regulation. The way again the termite individual divide the work on how to make sure the colony stays healthy is again a great example of applying simple rules to achieve far more than forcing codes of instructions that no one would feel comfortable with them.

I dare say that the greater the number of employees in an organization is, the simpler the rules should be and never the other way round. This is how nature works.


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Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#36
well-said Savvy Raj. I agree fully with you. You are truly outstanding my friend

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#31
one day I hope to join you on one of your trips Paul Walters. I want to learn from you how you write on your trips so that I feel I have been with you. Thank you for commenting and appreciation.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#30
love of excessive control leads to disasters. Thank you dear Laurent Boscherini for the comment and relevant quote. I appreciate your comments greatly.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#29
part 2 The other segment that captured my attention is "So freedom of choice and the ability to enjoy simple rules comes at a price of being ready to add value". This is what I mentioned in my earlier comment. But you expressed it far better than I. Thank you my friend. I extend the invitstion to to share his wisdom

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#29
dear - your maturity coupled with wisdom are simply gorgeous. I could write now a buzz building on your eloquent comment. You actually responded to most comments that preceded yours. You wrote "Self-organisation and simple rules go well together ONLY if it driven behind values and the purpose of why an organization exists". Self-organizing is an emerging phenomena thst result from the interactions of simple rules They are not planned and are rewards for respecting them.

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

3 years ago #28

Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee Splendid perspective...thank you

Laurent Boscherini

Laurent Boscherini

3 years ago #27

Thank you dear Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee for sharing your interesting post as usual very provoking...Nature is one thing that human being tries to copy but politics steer it differently. "To appreciate the circumstances in each particular case, such is the essential role of the chief. Since he knows them, measures them, exploits them, he is victorious because he ignores them, judges them badly, neglects them, he is defeated." Charles de Gaulle.

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

3 years ago #26

These simple rules should focus on two important things dear Ali Anani - That the individual and the organizations grow together, add more value to self and the group as a whole. Because manipulation and deceit have become the order of the day and it is this practice that leads organizations to their doom and creates monster managers. might have something of great value to add to your intriguing buzz here. Self-organisation and simple rules go well together ONLY if it driven behind values and the purpose of why an organization exists. Like the termites who work to make sure the colony stays healthy, each termite has a role to play and he must remember that all times. So freedom of choice and the ability to enjoy simple rules comes at a price of being ready to add value and knowing that, "When we compete against everyone else, no one wants to help us. But when we compete against ourself, everyone wants to help us.” - Simon Sinek

John Rylance

John Rylance

3 years ago #25

I agree. I thought what was lacking was what you called free will, and I call choice#21

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#23
thank you Glenn Melcher for your sharing. Greatly appreciated

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#22
Glenn Melcher- bees and ants behave as many in one by following simple rules. We make the simple complex. If you would read my comment #20 as I explain why I am in agreement with you

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#21
Jerry Fletcher #20 .

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#20
you have very good points at Phil Friedman. Your concerns are valid. In life we don't get any thing for nothing. No free ride as they say. To have complete free of choice and belong to a society is a free ride. We have two needs in having our free choices and to belonging. The compromise is to have simple rules that balances both choices. In complex systems it is simple rules that reward the balancing of the two choices by having the emergence into new systems. Comlplex systems look for efficiency and workability and not optimization. Find a working solution and move. Optimization is short-lived because the environment keeps changing. What is optimal today is not optimal tomorrow. If we wish to have complete freedom of choice. Well then like oil and water- each keeps its identity, but separated. Regards

Glenn Melcher

Glenn Melcher

3 years ago #20

#19
see how cooperative we can be when adversity is present

Glenn Melcher

Glenn Melcher

3 years ago #19

How much better the World could be if we were Advocates like the Ants and Bees

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #18

Dr. Anani, simplifying the rules in an organization WHILE GRANTING THE EMPLOYEE FREE WILL TO ACT has the greatest positive impact I have seen. But, humans seeM intent to control and complexify to the utmost extent possible. The systems in your examples don't have free will.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #17

#14
Thank you for the candid answer, Dr. Anani, it is always helpful to understand what someone’s underlying assumptions are. In this case that the efficient operation of the system trumps all, including the welfare of the individuals who comprise it. I could be wrong, but my guess is that you also see the system (business, nation state, society, hive) as having an emergent being separate and distinct from that of its members. Which, when it comes to social values, I personally reject. Of course, to each his own. Cheers!

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#18
Antoinette Capasso-Backdahl- your observation is correct. Survival is a great motivation for cooperation and collaboration. We have big numbers in armies but what they do mostly is aggression not destinef for survival. I have to point out here that most creatures if get crowded voluntarily a group seek an alternative place. Bees do this for example. In few cases some insects may become predators of their own species. They behave like humans do.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#16
dear Susan \ud83d\udc1d Botello- you are a great stimuli. I envy myself having a comment such as yours that fills me with energy. Soon I shall reflect on my appreciation in a different way. Stay tuned.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#13
Sara Jacobovici has highlighted a discrete balance that is worthy a buzz on its own.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#12
there is a general understanding that in complex dystems the interactions are more important than the individual agent Phil Friedman. As Edward Lewellen mentioned earlier that individualism hampers us from interacting with losing identity because of our willingness to stay in control. I underdtand fully your concern. However I shall soon write a buzz on cases where humans could override their individuality they achieved collectively much more. I tend to prefer my authenticity sometimes snd I umderstand your preference.

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

3 years ago #12

#9
#11 Thank you Alan Culler for including me in this discussion. I definitely see self-regulating and balancing as crucial factors of both the human body and corporate body. I think that integrating the factors involved will enable both to be realized.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #11

With all due respect, Dr. Anani, you say that "Making the interactions more important than the individual is a key requirement to building healthy organizations and bodies. An ant or termite may not be aware of its surroundings, but collectively they do." There is a growing belief among biologists that an insect colony (bees, ants, termites) should actually be viewed as unitary organisms in which the individual bee, ant, or termite has value only in terms of what it contributes to the organism as a whole. In some respects similar to the relationship that one's cells bear to one's body. The implications for human society of pushing that simile to its logical conclusion are not something that I personally would want to see come to pass, as it strikes me as describing the path to authoritarianism and a complete disappearance of concern for the welfare of the individual. Cheers!

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#9
absolutely a wonderful comment my friend Alan Culler will have something to add. I am really pondering on your comment and Shall be commenting again.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#8
dear friend Edward Lewellen- your depth of understanding is truly amazing. I agree with you on every point in your comment. I must say and as you mentioned the need or desire of humans to control. This is the dilemma. Controlling what we know is uncontrollable. Like the weather uncontrollable so are human complexity. What do we insist to follow a mirage? This controlling desire mske us put more regulations and rules. But when we change the rules and actions accordingly we change the outcome and agsin this is beyond our control. May be we need an instinct such as survival instinct to lessen the need for rules. You shine my friend

Alan Culler

Alan Culler

3 years ago #8

Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee Thank you for another excellent post. I have pondered the self-organizing system as it relates to [people and organization for some time. You identify three critical success factors - Clear mutually accepted purpose -internalized at a core level (e.g.based upon survival), simple rules -the more people the simpler the rules must be -and time, freedom to reflect, improve and do what is right and central to the purpose.. As Sara Jacobovici points out, we humans are likely to react to too much organization -witness the tribalism and advanced localism that is the response to collectivism and globalization -see Catalonia vs. Spain or the recent US election so the balance of these three factors is paramount. Thanks again, Ali.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#6
as I said before dear Sara Jacobovici we c may keep our identity like a unique sand grain. Or, be like a clay particle which favors to sticking to other clay particles. We need both characters. Our authenticity should help us interact with others for purposes that exceeds our stickiness to suyhenticity. Moving millions forward doesn't depend on who we are as compared to the link types that we build with others. It is here where the emergence phenomena is observed. Thsnk you so much for taking the time to comment

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

3 years ago #6

Thank you to Debasish Majumder. The word that came up for me throughout your writing is "role". As humans, we tend to fear losing our uniqueness or individuality when engaged in a common goal. The reality is, we each have an important role to play in the group, unique to us as individuals, which moves the group towards a successful outcome. Thanks, Dr. Ali, for another opportunity to learn from our environment and from those with who we cohabitate.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#4
Your comment is actually one of the main themes of my next buzz dear Debasish Majumder. You are right. I want to show by examples and strange ones too of "...their aligned effort with a focus to cause harm can make greater damage altogether". I agree and it is unfortunate that synchronization of efforts can be very effective when causing harm to others. I thank you warmly for your active sharing of the buzz.

Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

3 years ago #4

lovely insight sir Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! at the same time i would like to add that termites can cause great deal of harm to our wooden furniture. they collectively work to bring damage to our products. so more employee can make unique rhythm as well an alignment for better ambiance to increase productivity. at the same time their aligned effort with a focus to cause harm can make greater damage altogether. however, nice insight. enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the share sir.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#2
Thank you John Rylance. You are spot on. The buzz to follow this one is on glowing and illumination and your comment serves the purpose very well.

John Rylance

John Rylance

3 years ago #2

Yet again great analogys, particular like the penultimate sentence. We learn a great deal from watching others, not just other humans, but animals and insects. Not only who to copy, but what to avoid. For instance not to be like the Lemmings or follow the example of the "red in tooth and claw approach" to problem solving of some animals.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

I want to thank dear Magdalena-Maria GROSU for sharing this buzz as a discussion topic on LI (The Social Capital) gGroup. https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4972340/4972340-6331818367825039360

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