We are all hive creatures. Our world is so complex and buzzing with change that none among us can dictate solutions or even directions without the support of the hive.And yet through mysterious processes, bee hives make collective decisions while processing huge amounts of information. The hive knows where the best flowers are, how to manage hive temperature given atmospheric conditions, the state of health of the Queen, the proper ratio of workers to drones, and when the time is right to pick up and move the whole hive.Buckminster Fuller wished to be known as “trimtab.” When an oceangoing vessel needs to change direction, the captain turns the wheel. But the wheel does not have sufficient leverage to move the rudder. So the wheel moves a tiny trimtab on the rudder which provides the necessary leverage to move the rudder and thus the ship. Bucky felt those who aspire to change the course of massive systems must discern where the trimtabs are.Nelson Andrews was an apiarist, better known as a beekeeper. He was fascinated by the behavior of hives, but in his learned papers on the subject, he could only marvel at the capabilities and group dynamics of the hive. Nobody understands the trimtabs of beehives.The Nelson Andrews Leadership Center has adopted bees as mascots as a nod to its namesake and a salute to the necessity of managing the global hive we inhabit—even as the tools we provide to help manage the hive rely on emergence, iteration and serendipitous leaps to higher order.When complexity and change overwhelm our systems, metaphors take flight to light the way forward. So, illuminated by the mystery and metaphor of the beehive, we seek trimtabs to help make our Nashville hive ready for the future.
Come fly with us!