Is your branding and marketing team Swarming?

September 13, 2010 Have you ever heard of swarm theory?  It explains the ways groups of individual agents move together. Swarm theory has been used to model the behavior of schools of fish, ant colonies, and flocks of birds. It has even been used to explain intelligence in humans as a product of social interactions. Whenever I read something about swarm theory, it always seems to me to be analogous to the way successful companies move over the long-term. There are lots of debates among strategy "gurus" about competitive advantage, core competencies, focus, etc. Some say that a company must have a single-minded purpose tying it all together. Some will say in this day and age a company must always be moving and developing new core competencies. I think a company has to let its center drift, the way that the center of a swarm does. The center (core competencies) drifts over time based on who is in the company, where it has been, and other random factors and those factors should have a place in determining the strategy. A brand position can't be set in stone for all time, it has to migrate.  Some companies hold too tight to a strategy which means their strategic center isn't drifting, it's standing still. They don't realize where the center is, and does that mean they will eventually have their vulnerabilities exposed?

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