Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ant Intelligence

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! (Proverbs 6:6)

Most scientists consider brain size one of the most important things in a the development of a creature, yet ants have brains smaller than a grain of sand and create some of the most complex structures in the animal kingdom.

How do they do it? Did the queen call out for tender for proposals from other ants? Did they use the best competitive bid? Did they use PERT charts, GANTT charts or other project management techniques? Do they have daily meetings or strategic think weeks to chart their progress?

I watched a program on TV with fascination as the it discussed various aspects of ant behaviour and how they interact.

If humans were to create one of the ant colonies found in the Argentine pampas with the intricacy and manpower needed it would be a wonder of the world.

Yet ants achieve this constantly.

What is the secret to this?

In a nutshell communication and simple rules. Everything is about communication in an ant colony. Ant pheromones signal danger, where the good food is, etc.

Ever notice that when ants meet each other they greet each other with their antennas? That's communication.

Decisions are made democratically. Ants always find the shortest path to a food source based on the density of their pheromone trails.

So the next time you meet a colleague or friend, take time to network with them. That's the secret of the ant.

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