To Scale is Human – Evidence from the long arc of Pre-history
Travelling back into the mists of time, an alien would have wondered, looking at us – the Human species, whether we could even make it past a few millennia.
The Homo Sapiens were not the best equipped, the strongest, of great size or anything spectacular to have survived, let alone thrive on Planet Earth.
There were many competing “human like” species (Hominins), some stronger, many better adapted for the conditions they were living in (Neandertals in Europe, Denisovans in Asia, among others).
Somehow, we survived and they did not. Somehow, we were able to not only overtake the other Hominins on their home turf, but we went from strength to strength until, ours was the only surviving human-like species left.
Today, we dominate the planet, and have changed the geography of the planet, not just the history. When it comes to scale among living beings, there is no better example than us – Humans (1,6).
How did this come about? Many things appear to have happened along the way, corroborated by scientists. One in particular stands out – we gathered beneficial mutations – physical, cognitive and social – along the way.
While there are different views on how it came about –
the single most beneficial “mutation” that the H. sapiens evolved was the propensity for active collaboration with totally unrelated individuals.
This singular ability of ‘being able to engage with others in complex, social activities towards joint goals’ – scientists conclude – is one of the key reasons the modern human (H. sapiens) survived, outlasting other hominins (2,3).
So, how is this related to the operating success of the modern-day enterprise.
Using experiential evidence from a company going through critical phases of its development life-cycle, in a young market-space, we would like to share how this ability of being ‘peerless collaborators’ is a critical capability that separates the best run companies from the also rans.
Continue reading “On Operations and Scale – A Key Driving Force”