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Soundview Executive Book SummariesHow Science Explains Business Success
Richard Koch, entrepreneur, business consultant and author, believes there are many important business lessons to be learned from the realms of physics, science, evolution and economics. During his extensive research into the natural laws and the patterns to be found within them, he has set out on a mission to decipher these rules into valuable and meaningful ideas to be applied to the world of business.
Natural laws apply to business, Koch writes in The Natural Laws of Business, because they refer to nature and life, and business is part of life.
What does he hope to prove by connecting science and business? Koch writes, "If we accept the world revealed by modern science, we can better understand the laws that dictate business success or failure." By understanding, respecting and exploiting a few natural laws, he writes, we can greatly increase our business effectiveness.
From Darwin to Bohr
Koch's book is broken down into four parts. In the first, he tackles the biological laws, focusing on the works of scientists such as Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel. Each chapter discusses the laws and principles of the scientists who explored them, and ends with an explanation of how to use these natural laws beneficially in business.
Using the theories of great thinkers, Koch explains how long-term rewards in life, evolution and business are reaped through cooperation, not short-term self-interest. To highlight this fact, he points out the success of cooperative companies that inspire affection in their customers, employees and suppliers. These include CNN, Federal Express, Levi Strauss andHewlett-Packard.
In the second part of his book, Newton's laws of motion and gravity are explained in the context of competition and corporate gravity. Next, he moves into the realm of Einstein's theories of relativity and the ways these apply to business and competition. He rounds out this section with a discussion of theories about quantum mechanics from Neils Bohr and others, and the acceptance of duel realities in the corporate domain.
To demonstrate how Bohr's principle of complementarity - that embraces the concept of both/and thinking rather than the either/or thinking - is reflected in the corporate world, Koch cites the joint marketing done by McDonald's, Disney and Coca-Cola. Instead of behaving as mutually exclusive companies, the three companies engage in joint marketing and promotion of products and characters whenever possible. Koch writes that companies should seek ways to defuse trade-offs and contradictions, so they can deliver the best of both worlds.
Chaos, Complexity ... and Opportunity
In the third part of The Natural Laws of Business, Koch explores the nonlinear laws of chaos theory as applied to the complexity of business, and transforms theories about punctuated equilibrium and the law of entropy into explanations of the "New Economy," unintended consequences and the pitfalls of success.
In part four, Koch summarizes the importance of combining the sciences to improve business performance.
The Natural Laws of Business is at once a well-written exploration of scientific theory as well as a thought-provoking roadmap for business success. As Koch notes, the natural laws reveal the "entrepreneurial bonanzas [that] lurk unexploited." Copyright (c) 2002 Soundview Executive Book Summaries