By Michael O'Malley Ph.D.
When Michael O'Malley first took up beekeeping, he thought it would be a nice hobby to share with his ten-year-old son. But as he started to observe these industrious insects, he noticed that they do a lot more than just make honey. Bees not only work together to achieve a common goal but, in the process, create a highly coordinated, efficient, and remarkably productive organization. The hive behaved like a miniature but incredibly successful business.
O'Malley also realized that bees can actually teach managers a lot about how to run their organizations. He identified twenty-five powerful insights, such as:
- Distribute authority: the queen bee delegates relentlessly, and worker bees make daily decisions based on local cues and requirements.
- Keep it simple: bees exchange only relevant information, operate under clear standards, and use straightforward measures and feedback to guide their actions.
- Protect the future: when a lucrative vein of nectar is discovered, the entire colony doesn't rush off to mine it, no matter how enriching the short- term benefits.
Blending practical advice with interesting facts about the hive, The Wisdom of Bees is a useful and entertaining guide for any manager looking to get the most out of his or her organization.
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