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Tear apart structure

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Tear apart structure

Most animals behave instinctively. Fish know how to swim. Birds know how to build a nest. But for primates, including humans, behavior is learned within a social structure. We follow organizational patterns and rules unless those rules are dramatically changed.

Stanford neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky studies the social structure of baboons. 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 baboons. Those bastards.

But then something happened. The senior ranked males started fighting a neighboring troop over tourist garbage. Eating trash exposed the aggressive 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 replaced aggression.

Instead of struggling, the community flourished. Hormone samples indicated 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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The above excerpt was from Jeremy Gutsche's book:
EXPLOITING CHAOS - 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change.


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Jeremy Gutsche

Jeremy is an innovation expert, host of Trend Hunter TV, keynote speakers, and the founder of TrendHunter.com [More]
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