Jul 22, 2019
In this episode, Jon explores what he believes is a misreading of Charles Darwin's original quote. The phrase “survival of the fittest“, which was coined not by Darwin but by the philosopher Herbert Spencer, is widely misunderstood. For starters, there is a lot more to evolution by natural selection than just the survival of the fittest. There must also be a population of replicating entities and variations between them that affect fitness – variation that must be heritable. By itself, the survival of the fittest is a dead end. Business people are especially guilty of confusing survival of the fittest with evolution. What’s more, although the phrase conjures up an image of a violent struggle for survival, in reality, the word “fittest” seldom means the strongest or the most aggressive. On the contrary, it can mean anything from the best camouflaged or the most fecund to the cleverest, or the most cooperative. Forget Rambo, think Einstein or Gandhi!
According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, "it is not the most intellectual or strongest of the species that survives; but the species that are best able to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself”. Jon and Alf discuss the implications of this misunderstanding for business and work of the future. A future where the skills of collaboration, may be far more important to our success and survival, than the competition!