by Janice Mansfield
- Take time to observe, interact, and take stock: While its tempting to jump in with both feet, some time taken to observe and think through is time well spent. If you don’t fully understand the problem, you might be spending time creating the wrong solution!
- Catch and store energy: Design your systems to harvest resources at peak times for use later on.
- Obtain a yield: This sounds simple, but make sure you are getting something useful for your work!
- Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to know what works and what doesn’t, so we can build on what works well. This is a key tenet of business planning models, and performance management techniques.
- Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of the resources at your disposal – financial, human, information. Placing an explicit value on them makes it much less likely you will waste them!
- Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, we begin to minimize our waste . .. of resources and effort!
- Design from patterns to details: by looking at successful patterns found in nature, we can create systems with a strong foundation, and fill in the details as we go.
- Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other. This is especially true in this age of connectedness we live in, where personal relationships often form the basis of future business relationships.
- Start small, and build on your successes: Complex systems are built from simple systems that work well! … and simple systems are much easier to maintain, and make better use of local resources. This is also a matter of keeping some perspective on the appropriate scale for the situation.
- Maximize diversity and resiliency: This does not necessarily mean diluting your business goals, but rather look within the structures you are creating to ensure there are many : many relationships. Single elements should serve multiple functions, and single functions should be served by multiple elements – the ultimate backup!
- Value what is happening on the “edges”: The interface between things is where the most interesting ideas and events happen. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system (think of the creativity and energy present in a startup!)
- Creatively use and respond to change: Change is a fact of life, and successful businesses create a culture that observes change as it unfolds, and determines when and how best to intervene.