The most successful species are those that adapt to change, and the same is true in business. But there are limits to vertical growth, and our hierarchical structures can only grow so tall before complexity and instability overwhelm them. Today's global organizations need a new way to sense and respond to change. Earth's most ancient and successful societies – the ants and termites, and vast fungal networks underground – have already solved the problem. For hundreds of millions of years, they have worked in huge cities – tens of millions strong – compounding their wealth from one generation to the next with no management whatsoever. With just four simple principles – Collective Intelligence, Distributed Leadership, Swarm Creativity, and Regenerative Value – Teeming shows how these simple individuals pool their diverse and independent experiences to create rich hotspots of abundance and exquisite resilience to change. We can do it too.
An entertaining and accessible read with profound implications for the future, Teeming takes us on a journey through nature’s most ancient and successful R&D labs, and gives practical prescriptions for redesigning organizations to flourish far into the future. Evolutionary biologist Woolley-Barker weaves poetic vision and deep scientific expertise to illustrate how flat, agile, and adaptive societies like ants, termites, and underground fungal networks self-organize for resilience and value.