Exploiting Chaos

150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change

150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change - an award-winning business innovation book by Jeremy Gutsche, CEO of Trend Hunter

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CULTURE OF REVOLUTION · Intentional Destruction Tear apar t structure MOST ANIMALS BEHAVE INSTINCTIVELY. Fish know how to swim. Birds know how to build a nest. But for primates, including hu- mans, behavior is learned within a social structure. We follow organiza- tional patterns and rules unless those rules are dramatically changed. Stanford neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky studies the social structure of ba- boons.45 More than 20 years ago, Sapolsky observed a baboon troop with multiple layers of structural rank. Socially senior baboons would beat on middle-ranking baboons who would in turn beat on lower-ranking ba- boons. Those bastards. 130 But then something happened. The senior ranked males started fighting a neighboring troop over tourist garbage. Eating trash exposed the aggres- sive males to tuberculosis-tainted meat. Instant karma. Over the next three years, the elders died off, leaving the troop absent of structure. Instead of recreating multiple levels of aggressive hierarchy, the young baboons created a culture of pacifism. Acts of friendship re- placed aggression. Instead of struggling, the community flourished. Hormone samples indi- cated lower stress and the same culture remains 20 years later. Organizational structure guides the way we grow and the way we think. To spark a revolution, structure needs to be broken down.

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