It’s simple to think you can do it all on your own, but significantly less easy.
I always opt for the simplest answer, but there are times when a little bit of complexity is useful.
Complexity is not complication.
A complicated system is one in which individual elements are intricate and fragile, completing a specific function in a way that is not simple.
A complex system is one that is composed of many simple elements that efficiently complete their function, but are individually the least-complicated answer, producing an anti-fragile system.
If there was a competition between humanity and nature,
Given that nature has been up to her games for billions of years,
It’s important to note that nature creates complex systems,
And has done so very effectively since the beginning of time,
While humans often create complicated systems,
And have set earth on a path to extinction
In record breaking time.
Back to that Adaptive Capacity business.
One individual, can achieve quite a bit. It simply requires that you continue to find something you want to do with your time and energy. Follow your passion.
On top of that, a particularly practiced and enthusiastic person can achieve quite a lot more. Just ask Bucky Fuller.
But ultimately there is a limit.
You have two hands, two legs, one brain…. you get the picture.
Enter Adaptive Capacity.
This is essentially the ability of any given system to adapt to it’s environment. We’ve all got this. This is actually the single most impressive characteristic of human beings. We adapt to our environment, modify it to our preferences, and adapt to the new version. Constantly in a cycle of changing what we adapt to.
But there’s a limit.
Individuals, generally speaking, only carry a limited number of hands. A limited number of expertise, a limited volume of knowledge. Quite obviously, we’ve each only been here in this physical form for a certain length of time. So the amount of anything we’ve acquired is dependent on that.
So what do we do?
We form systems of collective intelligence.
Aka, tribes, families, businesses, cohorts, mobs…
What one person can’t do alone, it’s likely two can… or three… or thirty.
But something interesting happens when we activate this adaptive capacity in collectives: the group will generally out-perform what the sum-total achievements of individuals might have been. A collective of two individuals gets more done than those two would have achieve solo. And a collective of three even more so.
Essentially: One plus One does not Equal Two.
As we add people to the collective, humans being the most effective adaptive-capacity creature on earth, we get more bang for our buck. One collective with ten members will get far more done than two collective with five members each.
In addition, each individual brings a different set of passions and interests to the table; unique qualities and skills to contribute. This creates a more complex “organism”. As you add unique individuals, your Cohort’s skills-list grows!
And thus, Scalability.
Now don’t get too excited, because there is a limit to this scalability. One of the challenges we get to solve in this hunt for emergent transition is the fact that the adaptive capacity, as far as we’ve seen, stops scaling at some point. There are many numbers for this based on tribal studies, intentional community research, human emotion and psychology investigations… but it’s safe to assume that scalability falls off between 90-150 people.
Don’t lose faith, because this is good news for Cohort Formation, because you will rarely need a Cohort bigger than a dozen people.
So, you entrepreneurs, get to Cohorting!