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Parallels in Nature & Business Enterprise: Ecosystems and Value Chains

Menno van Dijk 1 1 Rodria Laline 1
September 29th, 2016
Article by: Menno van Dijk, Valeria Mecozzi, Laurie Kemp, Rodria Laline

Comparing examples found in nature with examples of business enterprises, we highlight the different characteristics that make up an ecosystem's value chain.

 

Value chains are made up of separate suppliers, delivering to competing producers, delivering to separate customers. Also referred to as environments, ecosystems are a self-developed coexistence of various creatures.

 

Ecosystems are made up of all different characteristics, including specialists, coopetitors, cross feeders, system developers, infomediaries, system service providers, sector shapers, aggregators, open platforms, intermediaries, sectors, clusters, geographic hubs, adaptors, communities.

 

With a case study for each characteristic, the slide deck below will help you to understand your ecosystem positioning and how you can use these levers to visually map the different actors that make up your ecosystem.

 

For example, look at coopetitors. Coopetitors are direct competitors who work together to share the cost of development, set standards, develop an new market, while maintaining their competitive offers in the market. In nature, different species such as coyotes and badgers may hunt together to form unlikely but mutually beneficial partnerships. In a case study from enterprise, Philips and Sony jointly set new industry-standards when developing the first CD-player. The open source movement is another form of coopetition.

 

 

 

During the THNK Creative Leadership Program, participants explore further insights into decentralized and distributed forms of leadership. With their insights, they elaborate on the practices and interactions of diverse ecosystems to accelerate their own business enterprise.

 

Want to explore your own business ecosystems and value chains?

Apply to join the THNK Creative Leadership Program: A 6-month part-time learning journey to help you realize your fullest creative leadership potential and scale your world-changing enterprise.