Has it ever occurred to you that every bee in a hive is a worker? In a bee colony, there isn’t a single supervisor, manager or executive type of bee. No single bee has authority over the other, and even the queen bee works every day of her life. A beehive can consist of up to 60,000 individuals, organized as a team of teams. Teams work together with maximum independence and minimum need for coordination or interaction.
A fact unknown to most people is that the bee is the only animal that mankind has been able to domesticate for pollination. A significant part of the world food production relies on bees, in other words, our modern way of life depends to a large degree on a single species. Just like bees play a crucial role in our food supply, so is our capability to run projects is of vital importance to humankind.
Today, projects are mostly perceived as instruments to create competitive advantage, improve company performance and economic growth. The importance of project capability has grown beyond the ability to create competitive advantage; it is a key to our existence. Our population has increased by six billion in the last 150 years, and we need to adapt our way of life to accommodate an ever-increasing population on a planet with steadily scarcer resources. Projects are the vehicles of change. Through projects, we must develop new capabilities that will enable us to adapt to a rapidly changing planet and secure a future for the next generations.
The question is, what can we learn from the beehive, enabling us to orchestrate global research and development projects organized as teams of teams with distributed control? The times that a project manager singlehandedly can lead a modern worldwide project are over. Due to increased technological complexity, globalization, and fast-changing requirements, everyone on the team must share and take responsibility for the success of the project. These innovation projects provide us with the capabilities to transform our consumer-based society into a sustainable one, including clearing up waste and reverse climatic changes.
© The HYVES Project 2019