Newtonian and Darwinian thoughts on business model

Newton’s first law of motion, the law of inertia, states that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by external force. It seems that human nature also follows the same law of not changing behavior unless something sever happens. Plagued with comfort and convenience seeking behavior we are opposed to breaking the status quo and thinking out of the box. Similarly, in the Darwinian theory of evolution biological changes transfer to new generation in a gradual, slow, and non random process unless it is a mutation. Mutation occurs when there is sudden change in the environment of the organism. Perhaps it is the imprints of that genetic nature in our psyche it is hard for us to seek the instantaneous mutation of consciousness for behavior change. The inertia that is being faced in changing the neo classical business model to incorporate the ideas of sustainability is one of the extensions of such change opposing human behavior. Strokes of insight and epiphanies just like the one Ray Anderson had and made him to become an angel from a “criminal” overnight are the mutations which make positive transformation in individuals. We can hope that by observing such changes everyone will, at least, make the evolutionary gradual and slow change of behavior, in this case the change in business model. If we look at the development of sustainability adaptation process in last few decades it shows the trends of slow adaptation.  The changing definition of stakeholder theory from the early 70s when Friedman wrote his famous article The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits to now is an indication of such positive evolution in people’s mindset. The much popularized ideology of “business of business is business” from those days has drastically changed by now. The idea popularized by the likes of Friedman that the shareholders are the only stakeholders of a company is already outdated now. Today having a corporate responsibility division within a company has become a norm. The fact that universities like Aalto have promoted study programs such as Creative Sustainability also shows that the adaptation and the evolution are in the process. It is an indication that the “external force”, although very slow and small, has started to act against the “inertia”. As long as a couple of inspirational mutants, such as Ray Anderson, are born every now and then the force against inertia will definitely gain momentum. With this momentum we will definitely be able to change our business models from neo classical to sustainable, if not today, one day! And the hope is also that with so much quality information we have been getting we will be one of such exemplary mutants ourselves!

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