Biomimicry studies how problems are solved in nature and tries to apply that to human issues.
I ran into the word while reading the President Daily Brief on Ozy.com. Scientists are studying the mantis shrimp in hopes of mimicking its shell and hyperspectral optics.
It’s a beautiful little creature, isn’t it? I saw a parallel in business—exotic business cards, over-the-top marketing videos, extravagant promises– and wanted to ask, “How good are you at just being a shrimp? How good are you at your business?”
I don’t know how one measures the quality of life for a shrimp but certainly survival, warmth, liquid intake, food must all rank highly. The beautiful coloring is an extra.
Most companies track not only their competitors but others making gains in tangential fields. I occasionally hear of a small company jumping off a cliff with marketing or following new technologies or the latest quality management scheme. Sometimes they survive. Sometimes they don’t.
Yes, innovation, adaptation and growth are a must for continued business success, but I think that a company needs to first clarify its mission and vision. It has to be the very best shrimp it can be. Mimicry can be a part of being a superlative shrimp as long as it fits the mission and vision.
Scientists hope things learned from the mantis shrimp can improve our lives. Their beautiful colored hard shell and super vision may indeed be part of how they survive.
With a firm foundation and an eye toward improvement, when your company is solid in its mission and vision, your innovations will be the ones copied.
How good a shrimp are you?