I call it the Hippo and the Bird.
There is very little original about my theory, nature thought of it thousands of years ago and we can see the pattern repeated in dozens of species.
The hippo is a great lumbering beast that inhabits sub-Saharan Africa. The hippo is one of the most aggressive creatures in the world and is often regarded as the most ferocious animal in Africa despite the fact it spends most it’s time wallowing in the mud. Like any mega corporation it seems it’s only reason to be is to grow larger and larger, however while it wallows around, expending little energy to try something new it creates and ecosystem around its very existence.
Enter the birds.
In this relationship, the birds are well known for preying on parasites that feed on each hippopotamus which are potentially harmful for the animal.
To that end, this hippopotamus openly invites the birds to hunt on its body, even going so far as to open its jaws to allow the birds to enter the mouth safely to hunt.
For the birds’ part, this relationship not only is a ready source of food, but a safe one considering that few predators would dare strike at the bird at such close proximity to its host.
So what does this tell us about business and governance?
The big guys (Hippos= Corporations) and little guys (Birds=Entrepreneurs and Small 2 Medium businesses) can live in the same pond, or pool of business without killing each other. This is where the government comes in, they want to help create jobs for their constituents and at the same time give their supporters tax breaks, so how do they win friends and influence people on both sides of the great divide?
Here is my theory:
Large corporations create ecosystems around themselves of manufacturers, service providers, consultants, operational systems, and more. In some situations they create task forces or departments, and other times they outsource. Here is the opportunity, when the company outsources, when they have needs beyond what they can (are willing to) create or manager there are jobs on the other end.
Now if the government were to create tax breaks, or incentives for these companies to outsource locally, we create a pool of jobs in our own pond.
Remember the birds come to the Hippos, not the other way around.
As always I am Dave Williams, your business steward and I hope you’ve found a valuable idea inside the Idea Vault.