Shawna Dye Culik
Bees and Business: Lessons on Organizational Efficiency and Growth
Honey Bees are one of the most relevant creatures in nature, impacting our lives and food supply. These tiny insects are considered the most important pollinator of food systems, pollinating nearly three-quarters of the plants that produce 90% of the world’s food. Their hard-working habits, consistent order, and efficient, organized teams create sustainable colonies that produce a wide product range. In this series, we look to bee to discover what we can learn from businesses from habits they have perfected over millions of years.
When running a business, the goal is to create an efficient organization that generates revenue, and provides for the flexibility scale, while maintaining the appeal of quality services or products. In other words, we hope to create business organizations that are sustainable, growth-friendly, and run like a machine so that revenue is automatic and ascending. Bees know how to do this.
One of the most impressive attributes of bees is their ability to scale extremely fast and seemingly effortlessly. They do this by the collective hive knowing their role and the hive goal which is the survival and growth of the whole bee colony. Bees strictly organize tasks, regularly taking on new functions whether it’s housekeeping, storekeeper, food provider, nectar collector, defender, egg maker, or nanny. If a forager bee can no longer perform its function, other bees step up to take on the role. They take care of each other and equally contribute.
Honey bee hives have many jobs to do which are completed by three broad categories of individuals: the queen, the worker bees, and the drones. Despite what seems like a clear hierarchy, bees know that they need one another to survive and thrive. Because they only work if they all contribute to their role, no one individual is more important than the other.
Clear and Constant Communication
Bees know instinctively that clear, consistent, and constant communication is imperative in protecting and growing the hive. They are continuously communicating with each other about flowers, pollinating, predators, and the queen’s care, protection, and condition. Holding back or miscommunicating are not options, and the health of the hive requires complete transparency.
To keep their day productive, communication flows constantly between the queen and her bees through pheromones, a chemical substance released that instructs and affects every action the bees take. As beehives get larger, they become more efficient, which is often in contrast to businesses that tend to lose clear, constant communication with growth. Communication is a bee secret weapon and one business should make it a top priority. Consistent communication on guidelines, expectations and organizational goals can set businesses up for success.
Honeybees survive by being very good at adapting to their surroundings. They continuously evolve whether it be to a new region or environment. When change occurs, they quickly scout the new environment, communicate their findings, and then get to work implementing the necessary changes to continue to grow and protect the hive. They don’t experience disappointment from change, and just keep moving. This amazing ability to pivot when they need to is also a bee secret weapon.
Businesses are constantly affected by small and large changes, whether it's staffing, location, or a pandemic. The ability to evolve, change, and adapt is key in not only keeping a business strong and viable but also in scaling it up to new levels.
DYE CULIK PC is a business and franchise law firm. We work with businesses at all stages and can work with you if conditions have changed, you’re scaling up, or if you want to implement better protection for your business as you grow. Contact us here or give us a call at 980-999-3557. We’re here to help!