Organizational Theory, Design, and Change
MGMT 360 DEA 13-54
Swarm Intelligence: A Whole New Way to think About Business
Author’s: Bonabeau, Eric and Meyer, Christopher
The primary focus or main theme of the article is to show how a collective group can persevere as a group and not as one. Swarm intelligence has become a valuable tool for optimization of functions of various business. Swarm intelligence deals with systems composed of many individuals that coordinate using decentralized control and self-organization. In particular, it focuses on the collective behaviors that result from the local interactions of the individuals with each other and with their environment. Why is of interest to us? The future of the successful business model is now a global model. Lean and Six Sigma are tools as well as swarm intelligence to streamline and optimize our work force to create a balance and prosperity. This is a new way of doing business. (Govil.2008)
Swarm Intelligence is a study of “social insects work without supervision” (Bonabeau.2001) this is not a new concept in the ecology of the world it is a lesson we are adapting to create a new way to perform as a business entity. The advantage of this model is flexibility, robustness, and self-organization with these 3 essential keys we can think outside the box, feel energized and good about our contributions and with self-organization the streamline effects are noticeable not only in the bottom dollar to the company but also to the positive attitudes of the employees.
In comparing “Foraging for Solutions” (Bonabeau.Pg 108) Compare Southwest Airlines boarding style and the video game halo, I have always thought of the boarding process for Southwest as a cattle call and we all line up and follow the trail in front of us. As each patron walk the path we leave a well-marked trail like the ants to bring the collective group to the plane. In contrast Halo is a video game that uses the swarm of the hunter to follow each other to accomplish a common goal, they have no leader they use collective intelligence. (Becher.2012) when the best solutions are followed for the shortest course of action the results are benefits to the group.
Think about Facebook here for a minute, I created a Facebook page as a beta test for this paper and low and behold this page has over 300 friends in under 3 weeks. The people I target with friend requests are mutual friends with friends. I found this amazing in the fact that the page is vague, not a true name and just because your friend or family became my friend they accept my friend request with minutes or hours. So how could this type of swarm help a business? If you create a small buzz, I did this by posting a positive thought every day, the buzz turns into a hive. Now the next step is to pose a problem to this collective group and see if as a group the solutions can be revealed. This is an example of using a collective analysis to gain insight and direction into solving a problem that you cannot solve on your own.
“Raiding New Markets” (Bonabeau.Pg 112), Think about what is trending, Black Twitter, has emerged as a firestorm in the political arena. This is quick to take a topic and hone in, spin it and spark analytical discussion or just a plain laugh. How will this type of message board affect the upcoming elections? Fast and furious as the media is the innuendoes become facts with a secret source to create a frenzy whether positive or negative. (Wilson.12/31/2013)
“A Swarm of Possibilities” (Bonabeau.Pg 113) in a swarm business a company gains power by giving it away.” MySpace was one of the first social networking sites that gave it away free. It grew fast and furious amongst the teen population until “Rupert Murdochs New York based News Corporation” (Gloor.4/1/07) bought for 580 million dollars. As we have watched these type of trends change and evolve into many other sites. Facebook has now been left behind amongst the youth as