Business - survival of the fittest....not quite

It's a shame Darwin's not around to more fully explain what he understood by "survival of the fittest".

The phrase has been used for 150 years to justify and expain the need in business to succeed by out competing, or just beating, others into submission in order to succeed and, in many cases, to do so at all cost.

The phrase however was not used by Darwin until the 5th edition of his "On the Origins of Species" but rather had been used as a sound bite by other victorians to justify human dominion over all else and then one business over another, I suppose the first bit was the only way bible believers (including Darwin) could justify the evidence of one book against a core foundation of the other.

As described in Wikipedia the original phrase, lost in the marketing, is "Natural Selection" and describes how any species survives by best fitting into the environment in which it finds itself and that the key to this ability to fit is to adapt and collaborate rather than fight. (100 years later this was far more evident at genetic level rather than species by species).

By holding ourselves and our businesses over others and our environment, in our constant need to grow and out perform, we have brought ourseves to the point at which something has got to give and where we may have to take account of thousands of missed adaptations in one go if we are to survive.

Anyone interested in reading a better summation of this might like to look at this piece by Giles Hutchins from last week's Guardian and a better phrase, "survival of the fitting-est"

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Old Greying Accountant's picture

I agree Paul ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... and accountants are a prime example!

 

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