The Bioteaming Manifesto for naturally high performing teams is now 15 years old

Article by Ken Thompson, last updated April 2021

Next month (April 2020) it will be 15 years since I published "The Bioteaming Manifesto" in collaboration with my great partner Robin Good.

The idea of using 12 rules derived from nature to create more effective teams is even more relevant in today’s Virtual-Mobile-Global world of organizations.

You can also visit the website with over 600 articles on the increasingly relevant discipline of Organizational Biomimicry – improving organizations by adopting and adapting natural principles. On you can still download the very popular Bioteaming Manifesto (33-pages) for free as a PDF.

There is also a Tedx talk and a bioteams book.

And finally here is a quick reminder of the 12 bioteaming rules:

Rule 1: Stop Controlling

Communicate information not orders

Rule 2: Team Intelligence

Mobilize everyone to look for and manage team threats and opportunities

Rule 3: Permission Granted

Achieve accountability through transparency not permission

Rule 4: Always-On

Provide 24*7 instant "in-situ" message hotlines for all team members

Rule 5: Symbiosis

Treat external partners as fully trusted team members

Rule 6. Cluster

Nurture the team's internal and external networks and connections

Rule 7: Swarm!

Develop consistent autonomous team member behaviors

Rule 8: Tit-for-Tat

Team members must learn effective biological and interpersonal cooperation strategies

Rule 9: Genetic Algorithms

Learn through experimentation, mutation and team review

Rule 10: Self-Organizing Networks

Define the team in terms of "network transformations" - not outputs

Rule 11: Porous Membranes

Develop team boundaries that are open to energy but closed to waste

Rule 12. Emerge

Scale naturally through nature's universal growth and decay cycles

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More about Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson

Ken is a practitioner, author and speaker on Leadership, Collaborative Working, High Performing Teams, Change Management, Project Management and Business Acumen. His work has featured in major publications including The Guardian , Wired Magazine, The Huffington Post and The Henry Ford Magazine. Ken has also spoken at many international events including TEDx, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Learn Tech (London) and NASA.

Ken is Founder of Business Simulations Ltd.

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