Inhaling Innovation

The larger an object becomes the smaller the ratio of it’s surface area to volume. The same is true of organisations. The bigger an organisation becomes the less exposed it becomes to external ideas and more absorbed it becomes in internal processes and politics.

This is why organisations become less productive as they grow. Conversely cities, become more productive with size. Randomness and self organisation is allowed to flourish in cities and so there is far more opportunity for information exchange in public spaces and street corners.

“Most blocks must be short; that is, streets and opportunities to turn corners must be frequent.”  Jane JacobsThe Death and Life of Great American Cities

The alveoli in your lungs significantly increase the surface area available for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Similarly we believe that organisations also need to increase their own surface area and maximise their exposure to the outside world and therefore their opportunity to exchange of ideas.

At 100%Open we like to think that we can significantly increase the lung capacity of any organisation. So beware of your organisational asthma and find ways to increase your surface area now.

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