We have already done an exhaustive post on what we can learn from ants, but the lessons haven’t finished yet. You see, most of what we discuss in terms of random decision-making pertains to your personal life.
However, as we observe the collective behavior of ants, we can see how random decisions can help organizations. In the end, we will list down some examples of business decisions taken at random that ended up boosting the bottom-line of established companies around the world. Read on!
The Collective Behavior of Ants
A tiny ant is capable of doing only so much. Its small body can only exhibit a limited set of behaviors and choices, which make ants inflexible creatures. However, in their collective efforts, they display a significant degree of creativity and flexibility.
The very fact that ants don’t have leaders like what we have in our businesses and the government encourages them to approach uncertainty with both confidence and creativity. So as the ant colony is out looking for new resources, the forager ants will move about randomly until they come across something relevant to their expedition, such as a food source. If they don’t find one, they just increase the randomness of their search. They don’t confine themselves to their limited knowledge, and the fear of making mistakes also doesn’t hold them back. These are the kind of strategies that enable ants to occupy more or less the same biomass on planet earth as human beings. That is a feat worth pondering upon.
But unlike honeybees, they don’t come dancing back to their colonies to inform others of their discovery. The information about the food source (or any similar data) then travels through random interactions.
The Collective Behavior of Humans
When it comes to the workplace and organizations, humans exhibit the exact opposite traits that ants possess. As individuals, we are greater than ants in terms of capabilities, and to varying degrees, we adapt to different situations and are able to think creatively.
But can we say the same for the businesses we work for (or run)?
From the top of the organization, you are taught to resist change and to sharply react to setbacks. In short, there is a concerted effort to decrease randomness.
What happens when you are faced with an emergency situation, such as a car halting to an emergency stop in front of you? You forget everything else in the world and concentrate all your energies on the problem at hand. This is what businesses actually need to do.
‘In 1999, when Infosys became the first software company in India to receive the highest level of capability maturity model (CMM level 5) certification from Carnegie Mellon University, co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy shared the company’s experience of the certification process with his Indian competitors……….Letting other Indian companies excel led Western companies to pay attention to India–and helped increase the overall Indian market share….. India is now a prominent player in the global IT market.’
To sum up, randomness is not such a bad thing after all. Embrace it, both in your personal and professional life.
Note: We do not recommend using the Random Decision Maker (or any other app for that matter) for making business decisions.