The other day I had a chance to hear a brief talk by Management Consultant and social psychologist Michael O’Malley who is doing the usual round of talks that are now mandatory for anyone promoting their latest book.

Many management consultants love nothing better than finding some sort of example in nature that they can turn into an exciting insight into human behaviour, use it to justify their consultancy advice and where possible, flog a book to the bosses.

Michael O’Malley is a bee keeper and noticed how there could be some links between how bees behave in the hive and how large corporations could – in theory – behave.

His book has 25 principles, but for the talk he condensed that down to just four key ideas. Actually, the bulk of the talk was about bees, rather than about how they can inspire companies – and as I am getting increasingly interested in the flying critters, it was actually quite interesting.

As with many talks, the post-lecture questions can make or break an evening.

The first woman who got a chance launched into a long, obviously prepared spiel about how Bees are one with mother earth and a whole range of related tree-huggy sort of comments. It wasn’t so much what she said – in a room full of less than tree-huggy sorts – but it was the strident passion in her voice that made it such a hysterically funny thing to listen to.

The talk was arranged by the Henry Jackson Society – who are certainly not tree huggers.

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