When it comes to organization you might have thought ants were pretty close to perfection. Every member of a colony knows its knows its place and exactly what its role in life is. It's a system that's worked for probably millions of years, but recently one species has found there is room for improvement. And it's having a devastating effect on every other life form that comes into contact with it.
There is a frighteningly detailed report in Science Daily describing the 'new pest'. Well to us it might be a destructive and disruptive pest, but to this fairly unknown group of ants this is success. If they were people they'd be dominating their market.
The 'lasius neglectus' species got its name because it was ignored by science. Not any more. It's now creating 'super-colonies' which are destroying everything in their path as they cut a swathe across Europe. The secret of their success is the presence of multiple queens in a single colony. Other ant organizations fall apart when their single queen is taken out.
Could a similarly loose form of organization have a similar effect on the world of work? As global businesses with fixed goals and structures crumble under the impact of the credit crunch it's a vital question.
At ki work we believe there is an alternative in the form of 'collaborative capitalism'. The development of loose, flexible business organizations able to adapt without cost almost instantly to change poses as much of a threat to 'traditional' companies as the 'lasius neglectus' has had on the ecosystems it's come into contact with.
Until recently the ants didn't pose too much of a threat as they don't fly. But they've also found a new way to travel, hitching rides in flower pots transported across borders. Is this the insect internet?
Have ants found the answer to business growth?