Learning from nature - Honey bee democracy

Posted by Charlie Johnston

The concept of how people interact and work together is the subject of much debate within organisations at present. The need to maintain an active and engaged workforce needs to be off set by those who are happy to WFH and those who in the office/on site. With this debate there is also a need to determine what is the most efficient way for people to work within their units, as it is difficult to adopt a one size fits all on a blanket basis for a company.

Perhaps we could take ideas from nature and in particular honey bees. A bee colony operates as one collective unit where the queen will set the strategy and direction but every bee has a part to play. Prof Thomas Seeley from Cornell Univ has conducted numerous studies into bee psychology and behaviour and he argues that through a process of collective fact-finding, vigorous debate and consensus building that a colony can survive, adapt and overcome challenges that it is presented with. Perhaps as we emerge out COVID 19 this approach should be taken in to consideration and from that a more informed approach taken in how best to develop the most appropriate working practices for an organistion. 

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