Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Evolution - the survival of those most responsive to change

As you will doubtless have remembered, April saw the 130th anniversary of the death of Charles Darwin, author of 'The Origin of Species'.  So often we misquote him by referring broadly to 'the survival of the fittest', but Darwin's thesis is far more encouraging than the cliche suggests:
  • 'It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.'
Any of us can take heart from that: how strong we are, and how intelligent, were both decided to a large degree very early in our lives (personal trainers and pop psychologists notwithstanding). But how responsive we are to change is a conscious decision, which we can take at any time.

If you want a dramatic example, finish reading here, then watch this short video on Youtube. I honestly don't know whether it's genuine - there is some debate - but I've looked at it several times and it still looks good to me. Regardless, take it at face value and think about the instant decisions this pilot had to take when faced with a catastrophic change that, according to all precedents and accepted attitudes, should have given him about five seconds to live... and how responsive he was to this change.  

Now think about the changes you (and your business) face in this period of global turmoil. And whether you'd prefer his challenges or yours.  

Have a good, adaptable, week.

(Here's the link again. To keep this window open while you open the link, click on the link with the right-hand button on your mouse and select the options of New Window or New Tab.)

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