By Jonathan Kirschner, Psy.D. • January 29, 2015

Business Survival 101

Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection provided biology and the sciences a compelling way to understand how organisms evolve, extinguish, and grow – all as a function of developing the right combination of characteristics that are most adaptive and functional for a given environment. This is Survival of the Fittest.

However, applying this principle to understanding how organizations grow, stagnate, or die is a rarely done.
If you asked an analyst in 1990 what they thought about Eastman Kodak as an investment, words such as stability, strength, and market dominance would be used as descriptors. Similarly, in 2007, when BlackBerry handsets were growing at an unprecedented rate, if one predicted the future prospects of Research In Motion (RIM), it would be handset domination.

The strength of Kodak and RIMM during their limelight is unquestionable. How is it then that in 2012 Kodak filed for bankruptcy and BlackBerry started to plummet. The answer lies in a deeper understanding of Darwinian principles and how they can be applied to business.

survivalIn a business context, Darwinian theory requires that a company not only consider their perceived level of fitness in the present, but also how they are strategically positioned to encounter unknown forces - such as the digital camera or iPhone - in the future. The ability to recognize market saturation, to predict future demands and needs, and the ability to respond with agility is vital to an organization’s ability to achieve sustained outperformance.

To boost your Darwinian Capital as an individual or organization, you will need the following:

  1. Strategic self-awareness
  2. Willingness to take risks
  3. An actionable strategy
  4. The guts to implement that strategy
  5. The ability to pivot and adapt to change

In upcoming posts, we look forward to breaking down these areas in more detail with targeted suggestions to increase your survival value and extend your competitive advantage.

To learn more how AIIR Consulting can help make you and your organization become more fit today, contact us at [email protected]


AIIR Consulting is a global leadership development consulting firm dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and performance of leaders and their organizations. AIIR services include traditional executive coaching, telepresence coaching, talent development technology and leadership pipeline development. Through strategic integration of coaching and technology, AIIR redefines the limits of traditional consulting by making leadership development available any time and anywhere.