Every day I get to witness a business where thousands of individuals are working together in perfect harmony, responding to changes, adapting in a moment and efficiently analyzing situations while making decisions with speed. I see this happening with no manager or supervisor directing the crew. It all happens at my honeybee hive. May be a stretch for real business but I think we can at least learn a little bit from the bees.
This time of the year bees decide if their colony is big enough to swarm. This is when at least half the hive grabs the Queen and heads out for a new home. Not one individual bee makes this decision. It’s a collaborative effort that starts from the bottom. There’s no intelligent top boss collecting all the information, making the decisions and announcing them downward.
The Buzz Run
The first step in this house-hunting process begins when a few hundred of a colony’s oldest bees stop collecting food and instead head out looking for new living quarters. Each forager brings back information about one potential location. Through vibrations from their waggle dance they’ll communicate where it is and how far they need to travel. If they can show their enthusiasm for the new place, the other bees get equally excited.
The Importance of Communication
The bee relocation process is solved with no system of hierarchy or chain of command. Instead, each individual bee has a little bit of information they share so the larger group can make the big decision. I’m often intrigued how this organic, flexible approach encompasses the entire hive working individual tasks for the common goal.
Do Your Own Dance
I think we can learn from my honeybees by coexisting with each other like they do. While the insects rely on each other for their roles in the ecosystem, we have a tendency to live and work in isolated ways at times. We need to mix with each other and use co-worker strengths. Let’s depend on each other to achieve goals for our business and for the success of our clients.
Watch Me Waggle
Learn from the B team and let’s work on your business together. If you can join me for the BrandKamp workshop, you’ll spend a morning building a three-year strategic marketing plan for your business. You’ll leave with years of knowledge that our bees have collected and with confidence that you have the right plan and how to execute it. You’ll be showing off your waggle dance in no time after learning about balancing long-term brand building and immediate short-term results. See you there!