Biomimetic file 199: Metamorphosis

Why undertaking a major business transformation is becoming a necessity

Butterfly Metamorphosis

Picture: Kingofwalpapers. Metamorphosis* is a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal’s body structure through cell growth and differentiation.

Highlight: “Locomotion ability, efficiency and reliability are key targets for a good robot…The linkage mechanism for robot locomotion is a discontinuous-constraint metamorphic* mechanism…Inspired by controlling strategy of the motor nervous system in peripheral vertebrae to the locomotion, researchers have developed complex mathematical algorithms to improve robot motor control and drive strategies…”

Insight: Never has the business landscape been so unpredictable as it is now considering the fact that businesses are facing multiple threats ranging from political instabilities, disruptive trends (e.g. the rise of robotics, 3D printing, online based services…) or mounting environmental pressures translating to stronger regulations. All these add-up to tremendous pressures put on businesses to drastically change their medium to long term strategies; it is no longer a matter of choice but an absolute necessity if a business is to sustain throughout the century.

Moving forward and drastically changing directions is not an easy decision to be made by companies as the outcome could be ultimately catastrophic if the wrong analysis is made and the transition is not managed adequately. The below are key points to consider:

  • ensuring the analysis and predictions are robust and reflect the reality (there is nothing worst than to base a change strategy on wrong initial assumptions);
  • ensuring the change will benefit the business (and not the other way);
  • ensuring a progressive transition;
  • ensuring the change strategy actually reflect the threats faced;

Are you concerned about the present and future trends on your business?  If so, perhaps be proactive in keeping-up with the rapidly evolving landscape and plan a change strategy for the medium to long term. As with a butterfly hatching from its cocoon, a proper business transformation will reflect three distinct phases:

  • Unchanged phase: the business appears to look good but it is in fact unfit for the changes to come;
  • Changing phase: The business may seem dull or facing difficulties when in fact it is getting a defense ready (apparent chaos is a sign of change, this phase must be closely monitored and managed. It is also wise to inform the stakeholders that the business is undergoing a transformation which is usually quite well received if communicated well);
  • Changed phase: A new business arises which, if successful,  looks much better than the initial one in terms of fitness and market competitiveness.

More information here

What is Biomimetics: the field of gaining inspiration from nature first to solve some of our most difficult challenges. Instead of coming up with our own solutions to a problematic, the odds are that species or natural systems on the planet already offer an ultimate solution. This simple fact is also another strong case to preserve species at all cost as the intellectual heritage contained within or through the study of species is both irreplaceable and invaluable…

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Biomimetic file 168: super efficient microturbines that run on carbon dioxide

How turning inconveniences into assets can lead to strategic advantage

3D-Print-Rotor-DesalImage Source: GE Global Research. GE. In nuclear physics, nuclear fusion* is a reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei come close enough to form one or more different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles (neutrons or protons). The difference in mass between the products and reactants is manifested as the release of large amounts of energy.

Highlight: “General Electric (GE) Global Research has announced that it’s developing a prototype turbine that could fit onto a desk. Using “supercritical carbon dioxide,” just one of these devices could power a small town of 10,000 homes…A supercritical fluid is any substance at such high temperatures and/or pressures that the boundaries between what is liquid and what is gaseous vanish. They can move through solids like gases…Steam turbines, which are normally 10 times bigger than this prototype, convert around 45 percent of their heat into electrical energy; GE believe their new, far smaller turbine would be around 50 percent efficient…”

Insight: Plasma’s (basically super heated gases) are omnipresent in the universe from our own Sun to interstellar gases. There is a lot to learn from natural systems containing plasma’s and many applications are yet to be exploited. One of them is energy generation and the efficiency gains through the unique properties of how they flow around. Perhaps an even greater potential is exploring the application of plasma’s for nuclear fusion which still has a long way to go…

Nuclear fusion* is considered as the holly grail of energy as it would provide unlimited energy with only water as a fuel (there is plenty of sea water) and no harmful side products unlike with nuclear fission and its rather troublesome radioactive wastes. While significant developments are under way, the main problems remain to sustain the reactions and to contain the extreme heat generated using electromagnetic fields. Experts predict that it would take a few more decades to reach a desired outcome…

There is an interesting philosophy in this carbon dioxide energy development case study: Quite often when faced with an inconvenience businesses tend to either avoid it or get rid of it, which rarely really solves the problem. Perhaps a better alternative is  to find ways  to utilize the inconvenience as an asset and to incorporate it within the development strategy.

Are you facing an obstacle holding you from moving ahead? If so perhaps consider looking at this inconvenience as a challenge for improvement and try to find ways to turn it into an asset; you may be surprised of the outcomes…

More information: here 

What is Biomimetics: the field of gaining inspiration from nature first to solve some of our most difficult challenges. Instead of coming up with our own solutions to a problematic, the odds are that species or natural systems on the planet already offer an ultimate solution. This simple fact is also another strong case to preserve species at all cost as the intellectual heritage contained within or through the study of species is both irreplaceable and invaluable…

bluestrike logo

www.bluestrike-group.com