Reviews of Teeming, Dr. Tamsin's latest book:
“Teeming should be required reading for everyone working in (or managing) a team. Creative and design teams will find invaluable insight into applying the lessons of Nature to their own company, culture and process. I wish I had this book 20 years ago!”
Eric Corey Freed, Architect, Author, and Facilitator, Institute for Living Futures
“Woolley-Barker is the fresh and futurist voice our Age of Biology has been waiting for!”
Zem Joaquin, Founder, Near Future Summit & ecofabulous, Huffington Post Editor at Large
“The closest I’ve seen to a unified theory of what organizations must do to scale exponentially...the real “how to’s” that all AI and human driven systems will use to build infinite wealth.”
Verne Harnish, CEO Gazelles, Author Scaling Up (Mastering The Rockefeller Habits 2.0)
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What We do

In today’s complex world, disturbance is inevitable, and the perfect solution rarely exists. That's a problem for traditional management. Efficiency models only work in a static, predictable world, and that world no longer exists. We desperately need a new operating system.

TEEM offers practical, actionable, and value-focused tools that catalyze teeming hotspots of collaboration, innovation, and value—the same way nature always has.

Earth has always been a volatile place, and every creature alive today had 4 billion years of ancestors that survived and thrived through change. But yesterday's success is tomorrow's fossil, and as Darwin said, “it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” The same is true in business.

It may surprise you, but people are designed for change. We're inventive, of course, but we're not just clever chimpanzees. People work together, more like ants do than apes. We fundamentally depend on one other to survive. Nobody can do everything that needs to be done, but together, we can do anything we put our minds to.

PROVEN WINNERS

Working for a better future—freely, with people we trust—is what matters most to us. It's human nature. And yet, our nature is exactly what traditional management practices stifle and straitjacket, with predictable results:

Challenges like these

70%
of workers are disengagedng!
$359 billion
spent on workplace conflict
33%
say their company’s values don't align with their own
25%
hate their jobs
60%
are burned out in their job
$550 billion
a year lost to disengagement
$3 trillion
lost each year in productivity
31%
report extreme work stress com promises their health
58%
trust a stranger more than their boss
60 million
workers suffer from bullying and harassment
23%
leave work feeling drained each day
$350 billion
a year lost productivity due to absence, illness and work problems

Our creative, collaborative humanity is dismissed for mechanistic efficiency at every level of society. Can your organization afford to leave this potential on the table? And as our ecosystems, democracies, economies, and communities begin to fail, can any of us?

TEEM is working to change this. And we know we can. After all, this problem has been solved many times before, and the success stories are all around us.

BIOMIMICRY

Every living thing is an evolutionary success, surviving and thriving on change. Biomimicry is the art and science of innovation inspired by life's proven strategies:

GeckSkin’s reusable tape was inspired by sticky gecko feet

Bumps on the leading edge of the humpback whale’s flippers minimize turbulence, and wind turbine blades mimicking them are 20% more efficient.

Lotus leaves repel water, keeping them clean of dirt. Lotus-San Paint mimics this to eliminate maintenance costs, time and energy, and toxic chemicals.

A chip in your smartphone separates signal from noise and amplifies it,  the same way your ears and brain do.

Fortune logo

“Biomimicry is a top trend in business, sparking all manner of disruptive product innovation.”
- Fortune Magazine

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THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZATIONS

And it's not just for products. Biomimicry is also a powerful gateway to a world of surprising processes, strategies, and systems that grow in value from one generation to the next.

Nature has been organizing for complexity and resilience for hundreds of millions of years. Ants, honeybees, fungal networks, and slime molds collaborate and innovate just as we do, with far less computing power. A compelling shared purpose, transparent communication and trust, diversity and autonomy, and a set of simple rules unleashes a powerful system of sense-and-response. No individual has the whole picture, and there is no top-down coordination, org charts, meetings, managers, predictions, targets, or incentives. Yet, strategy emerges—organically, all the time, everywhere, through many small, frequent, imperfect, and local decisions made by everyone.

Your organization can work this way too.

Infographic of TEEMs process
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We facilitate a fail forward culture of belonging, autonomy, and mutual accountability. This catalyzes unique & diverse individuals to self-organize into teems.
Modular teems cross-fertilize and overlap to work effectively with minimal administration or direction.
This structure and supporting culture unleashes/catalyzes emergent intelligence—a rapid sense-and-response system (like the octopus or slime mold)
These bottom-up connections grow to produce something new and unexpected. Emergent intelligence is more than the sum of the individuals within it.

OUR PURPOSE

“Growing Teeming Cultures that Thrive on Change”

We like to think of ourselves as biological architects of next-level organization, turning yesterday‘s clunky machines into agile, resilient, protean shape-shifters that eat change for breakfast.

Empower

individuals to be members of high-performance teams that matter

Deliver

step-changes in speed, effectiveness, & innovation

TRANSCEND

human cognitive biases

ENGAGE

employees and stakeholders frustrated by generic roles & inertia

GALVANIZE

ad hoc teams and informal networks outside formal hierarchies

SHIFT

from linear & logical “left-brain thinking” to holistic creative “right-brain mode”

ENABLE

growth at scale without deadening control

ACTIVATE

the latent power of self-organized networks

TRIGGER

belonging & psychological safety,
for greater collaboration and innovation

CATALYZE

powerful cooperative cultures for purposeful co-creation

DEVELOP

disruptive products, services, strategies, & systems

CULTIVATE

conditions for cooperation and innovation to spark & spread

TEEM BELIEVES…

A group of people with Dr. Tamsin

We believe nothing makes sense except in light of EVOLUTION. The deep patterns in life appear again and again because they work. This is what stands the test of time, and the results are freely available for us to observe and apply.

We believe humans are vital participants in LIVING SYSTEMS that constantly grow, learn, heal, adapt, and evolve—or fail and die.

We believe in EMBRACING CHANGE as an opportunity for growth and transformation. All living systems survive and thrive despite—or because of—disturbance. We settle for sustainability, when we can regenerate living systems that flourish on change?

We believe in HUMAN NATURE. People are designed for creativity, collaboration, and change. Freedom, purpose, and meaningful relationships are what motivates us most, both individually and collectively. When we work with our nature instead of against it, we naturally adapt and thrive.

We believe in POTENTIAL. Every person and organization can make a unique contribution to something larger than themselves, and this is what gives our lives meaning. Manifesting potential requires discovering what makes you special, showing up fully and authentically, developing your talents, and activating networks that amplify impact.

We believe in BUSINESS as a force for economic and social good. Companies are ideally positioned to empower creative individuals to work together for richer communities, institutions, and ecosystems that benefit us all.

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Dr. Tamsin's latest book:
Teeming: How Superorganisms Work Together to Build Infinite Wealth on a Finite Planet (and your company can too)
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