Ant societies exploit randomness and “leaderlessness” to succeed in a new environment. Forager ants walk around aimlessly until they find something surprising, say a piece of fruit on the floor. Through random interactions, the location of this new information spreads quickly. Ants quickly converge on this food source and begin transporting bits of it back to the colony.
Human organizations tend to take the opposite response to uncertainty and setbacks. Most try to decrease randomness with tightened budgets, more processes and standardization. Human factors research scientist Andrew Smart believes that if we embraced randomness we would be better able, like ants, to learn from surprises and innovate.
(via Why Organizations Should Embrace Randomness Like Ant Colonies - Andrew J. Smart - Harvard Business Review)