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If we keep going the direction we are headed, we will likely get there…

We recognize there is a need to change; painful economic realities, environmental imbalances, individual well being in a state of decline. But the path of change is less clear. The challenges we face have parallels in nature, a system which lives on in spite of catastrophe and thrives in complexity. At The Nature of Business, we believe that realignment with nature’s principles will improve our ability to be successful and sustainable, and that violation of these principles will be our undoing.

Our guiding principle: To do something naturally is to do it easily or instinctively
Our principle violation: To do something unnaturally is to do it with difficulty or by force
Identity Complexity Emergence Adaptation Sustainability

1: The sum of our circumstance; our surround, whole and part
2: The natural workings of the universe parts; to make or break wholes

In nature, complexity is the potential of each thing as well as the larger landscape each thing is part of. Complexity is what allows life to survive and renew itself after catastrophe; it is the environment’s requisite variety; it is harmony, the inter-dependence between oxygen consumers (animals), and oxygen producers (plants). Complexity is the building block of each thing, as well as the sum and sustainability of all things.

In our lives and in business, we often see complexity, not as something we are part of, but something we want to separate ourselves from; not something we created or wish for, but something to react to. We don’t see complexity as an unknown opportunity, we see it as difficult to control, and more difficult to predict.

To the root of the matter, complexity is the circumstance we find ourselves in; the challenges we face that require us to change. But down to our core, we would rather not.
Guiding Principle
Nature diversifies and thrives within complexity –
creating ever larger wholes 

Many parts, inter-dependent
  • Reduced individual behavior
  • Increased collective intelligence

  • Emergence; parts create larger wholes
  • An adaptive system; holistic
  • The can't be explained by explaing the parts
  • The whole is able to do what the parts cannot
  • More parts requires more maintenance
  • Unintended, unimaginable capabilities emerge

  • Principle Violation
    We minimize and polarize around similarities –
    trying to control ever smaller parts

    Many parts, polarized
  • Increased individual behavior
  • Decreased collective intelligence

  • Reductionism; wholes broken into parts
  • A mechanism; fragmented
  • Explaining the parts - explains the whole
  • The whole does what all the parts add up to
  • More parts requires more control
  • Unintended / unimaginable consequences occur