Let's mutate!

Have you heard the news?
Being a slacker may ensure your survival.
Researchers have found that metabolic rates are reliable predictors of extinction.
The lower the energy uptake.
The more likely the species you belong to will survive.
So there you have it!
Survival of the sluggish.
Stay on the couch.
And you leaders?
You may unintentionally be driving your organization to extinction.
So let go and relax (I'm actually being quite sincere).
Now, the researchers did point out that metabolic rate isn't the be-all, end-all of extinction.
It's simply another tool in the toolbox.
Plus, their discovery may just be... "a mollusk phenomenon."
I know... it sounds like something from the Onion.
So here's what I think.
I think the phrase "survival of the fittest" confuses just about everyone.
Darwin's breakthrough idea has nothing to do with the popular idea of "fitness."
You know, strength or athletic ability.
"I'll get bigger and stronger than you, and then kick your ass!"
Evolutionary fitness has to do with spreading genes.
And how do genes spread through the evolutionary process?
Mutation!
Random changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits.
Changes that allow an organism to better adapt to its environment.
To help it survive and to have more offspring.
Marketplace evolution works the same way.
It's about mutation.
Random changes.
And the messy business models that emerge.
Ones that are better designed for the "immediate, local environment."
So perhaps we should change the corporate rallying cry.
From... let's innovate!
Which implies a systematic and methodical process.
You know... "Let's get this straight."
To... let's mutate!
Expertly described by Sir Richard Branson:
"Screw it, let's do it!"
Yes most mutations are neutral, or even harmful.
But in a rapidly changing environment, it's the name of the game.
Because, try as you may, you can't control evolution.
The marketplace selects the beneficial mutations.
Amazon, Netflix, Instagram, Samsung.
And the species that are not well adapted to the environment go extinct.
Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster, Kodak, Sony-Ericsson.
Now, if you're not mutating or evolving, don't despair.
There's nothing inherently wrong with you.
You're just living in an environment which is now... very different.
From the one you evolved to "kick ass" in.

Tom Asacker