We are all familiar with Darwin’s theory of evolution which is usually summed up in one sentence as mentioned in the title. Well today’s IR Marks delves a little deeper into what this means and how this ideology could help in directing your efforts.
The usual notion with respect to the ‘survival of the fittest’ is that only the strong survive. The common interpretation is that the strong displace the weak. If I apply this evolutionary model to an IR practice it would translate into a ‘strong’ IR presence with larger budgets and marketing to displace the ‘weaker’ competition. Having established that strategy you could be comfortable that yours is the winning one and that your IR efforts provide the best results. Depending on your company specifics this could very well be the right way to go about your business. If you are the dominant player, then perhaps this is the right way to maximize your leadership position and maintain your status.
What if you are not one of those dominant players?
Let’s come back to the initial phrase, Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’, with the understanding that ‘fittest’ did not only mean ‘strongest’ but rather ‘most appropriate’. When he observed evolution, many species adapted and became the ‘fittest’ to occupy a specific niche. The whole idea came to Darwin when he visited the Galapagos islands and observed finches on the different islands. Each species had developed a specific trait (beak length, shape, size etc.) that enabled it to occupy a specific niche where food could only be obtained efficiently if you had that particular trait. For instance, a larger shorter beak allowed one species to burrow into a fruit which allowed that species to thrive where the fruit was available.
The various species of finches Darwin observed in the Galapagos exemplified how each became the ‘fittest’ for its respective niche.
This ideology may be worth investigating in your IR practice. Look for niche opportunities that will set you apart from everyone else; where will your efforts help you to shine? Are you going head to head with more dominant players at conferences that are out of your league? Are you marketing at the same time as your peers? Are your results coming out at the same time as everyone else?
And above all else, how can you make your company the “fittest” in the IR ecosystem?