Can we escape the Red Queen effect?
There’s a powerful image that resonates in corporate boardrooms around the world – the image of the Red Queen running faster and faster just to stay in the same place. Adaptation in a world of more rapid change implies running faster just to stay in same place
Product and process innovation only provides temporary relief for the Red Queen effect as companies become more adept at copying the advances of others. We need to harness institutional innovation and move from scalable efficiency to scalable learning so that we can begin to learn faster and find ways to get ahead of the pack in a more sustainable fashion
No. The pack defines the niche which defines rewarding adaptations. So there is no escape if your goal in life is to extract energy from the thriving teaming masses. And to think you can get ahead of the pack is to say adaptations aren't a random walk, which would take some convincing.
Take fashion, is it predictable? It's predictable it will change, but the change is lead by a few opinion leader nodes that are created by popular culture.
The solution is as we see in the Iraq war, create the war so you can profit from it. Create the disruption so you know where to invest. It's a difficult strategy to follow, assuming you have any morals at all.
son of parnas
July 4th, 2007 10:45am
Beware the jujube bird my son...
July 4th, 2007 11:15am
No. When natural resources are plentiful for basic survival (ie, 'natural' selection), sexual selection takes over, and precipitates an intra-species arms' race. Ie, compete for status to attract mates, as well as *symbols* of status (which are good enough). On the level of species (emergent property), this is a good thing, though it does incur anxieties among the individuals.
I do find the style and choice of words in the blog irritating though. It's like he's rewriting Confucius or Darwin in some sorta management guru-esque blah-blah-blahdy speak.
I don't see how the Iraq war gets thrown in here. WTF. Do red herrings even have queens?
July 4th, 2007 11:16am
That's "jubjub" bird. Jujube's are annoying little candies that get stuck in your teeth.
July 4th, 2007 1:21pm
That's a very jejune response.
(I was too lazy to go back to the tab I had open to the poem to look it up.)
July 4th, 2007 1:46pm
"And shun the frumious bandersnatch".
Exactly, "jubjub bird".
I think the "Red Queen" effect has been with us a long time. Certainly, that's what Lewis Carroll was referring to, the tendency to think you need to run faster and faster just to stay in one place, in order to cope with change.
Sadly, that article seems to say "Oh, yes, and to BEAT the Red Queen, we just have to run even FASTER, and here's HOW!" -- which seems to be a refusal to understand the lesson, really.
Personally, I feel all this "furious change" is more apparent than real, an image manufactured by Madison Avenue to allow top executives to appear forceful, effective, and dynamic in "managing change". And to give them something to talk about at quarterly profit reviews.
Sure, from time to time there are "sea changes" which dramatically change what's going on. The introduction of the Automobile, introduction of Aviation, introduction of the Desk-top computer, introduction of "outsourcing". But once the 'big bump' has occurred, after a year or two it's clear what major effect the 'bump' will have. And after that we're back into the realm of 'incremental improvements'.
Even the 'iPhone' is a logical extension of the cell-phone+PDA.
So, the way to 'escape the Red Queen' effect is to guage what's going on right now. If we're in a 'bump', then dramatic changes may be needed. If we're between 'bumps' (as we are now), gradual adjustements are all that's really needed.
July 4th, 2007 1:57pm
A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
I, too, strugged through the blog and while trying to stay with the message eventually came to the jejune conclusion that his business model requires change to be manufactured so he could continue to surf the front edge of the wave.
Manufacturing change is definitely the business objective of armies and advertisers (as mentioned above) - and corporate witchdoctors.
Did you like his reference to "innovation blowback"? (Can't wait to drop that into the next drunken dinnertime discussion.) Better start learning Mandarin, bubba.
July 4th, 2007 7:39pm
>> A more specific question might be: what are the institutional architectures required to operate in a world where there is no equilibrium? <<
In the scientific world, in order for a new idea to become accepted, you often have to wait for the older generation to die. In the IT world, we can't/won't wait that long.
So you need people who are natively open to change. Those that aren't will get steam-rollered. Or become the butt of everyone's jokes.
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
July 4th, 2007 8:10pm
I thought that "Tic Tac Toe" was your game Joshua?
July 5th, 2007 5:03am