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| 1 minute read

Nature Can Teach The Entrepreneur To Thrive

Biomimicry is the field of study that proposes "we can learn practical lessons by observing and copying processes and strategies found in nature".   Think about it.  Nature is a roller coaster of disruption and unpredictability and yet millions of species adapt and thrive in these conditions.   There is no reason mankind can't take these lessons and apply them now as it faces economic upheaval during COVID-19.  Here are 5 to ponder:

1.  Look to expand.  A wildfire burns a forest to the ground and a grassland grows in its place.  Likewise a company that has its core business disrupted can use its infrastructure to create something entirely new, such as a distillery producing hand sanitizer.

2.  Look to retrench.  Certain trees cannot withstand a wildfire but their strong root system allows them to regrow quickly after the fire is out.  Likewise a company that has a a solid base of trained employees and regular customers can rebuild quickly after a downturn.

3.  Look to sell.   Raccoons and bears often prey on animals fleeing a wildfire.  We know that the disrupted business world will produce businesses looking for other businesses to acquire.  Why not be ready to sell or exit from your business at the highest value by having your records ready to be reviewed at a moments notice? 

4.  Look to buy.  Conversely, if your business has weathered the wildfire like the bear or raccoon above, there will be opportunities to acquire an entire business or a division, hire skilled workers who became unemployed, negotiate better rent rates or get better rates with suppliers.  

5.  Start over.  Some trees require a wildfire or similar catastrophic event to shed their seeds, reproduce and grow again.   Likewise, many an entrepreneur can close their current business during an economic catastrophe and  start anew with a fresh idea to meet the changed environment.

To paraphrase a line from the movie Jurassic Park, "[b]usiness will find a way". 

[T]he natural world offers so much more than simply ideas for product design. In our research, we explore how nature can offer insight into topics such as keeping up with quickly changing markets, cooperating with peers and fostering resilience—all of which are relevant to organizations, especially to entrepreneurial organizations.