The Red Queen Effect

Running Faster and Faster Only to Stay in the Same Place

4 Strategies To Counter The Red Queen Effect


The Red Queen Effect Running Faster and Faster Only to Stay in the Same Place. 4 Strategies To Counter The Red Queen Effect. Picture of a drag queen dressed as red queen.


The Red Queen Effect is a reference to the Lewis Carroll novel "Through the Looking-Glass" where the key character Alice is running with the Red Queen who keeps encouraging Alice to run faster. But after a while Alice realises that despite all their running they aren't getting anywhere...



    “Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”
     
    “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen.

    “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.

    If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”







The Red Queen Effect Predicts That All Advantages Are Temporary

The message of The Red Queen Effect is you can’t be complacent or you'll fall behind. To survive you have to run very fast and hard, and you need to co-evolve with the people and the systems you interact with.

From an evolutionary perspective, not all animals evolve at the same rate, some are more “responsive to change” [Darwin] than others.

Species that are more responsive to change can gain a relative advantage over the ones they compete with and increase the odds of survival.

In the immediate term these small advantages won't mean much over the long term the advantages can compound and lead to a greater chance of survival.

In human terms those of us who are more responsive to continuous change increase our chances of survival economically and it may even enable us to create a sustainable competitive advantage.

Over the long term there are very few truly sustainable competitive advantages, your competition will evolve, catch-up and overtake you. 

But if the gains you make, when you have the advantage, are large enough then it may not matter.

Alternatively, the smart strategy is to identify and utilize the resources, and develop the skills, that will enable you to always be more responsive to change.

The challenge is to find ways of doing things that enable you to run smarter rather than faster AND to develop the capabilities that will enable you to keep doing that.





Ways Of Minimising The Red Queen Effect

The first and most obvious step you take to minimise the red queen effects, and to run smarter rather than faster, is by developing and improving your thinking skills.

Here are four strategies you can employ to give yourself an advantage:


1. Find a niche 

As Taylor Pearson explains it:

"The less-recognized fact is that we can actually make more markets, and we can do so more easily now than ever.

While the Industrial Revolution unleashed wealth creation, the internet has unleashed market creation in the form of the Long Tail.

By eliminating geography, the internet has both created more markets and also made it significantly easier to redefine those markets’ boundaries.

There are more and more markets than ever because of the Long Tail. And because we invented wealth creation, many of those markets are growing or fragmenting off into smaller markets that are growing.

AirBnB, now a $20 billion dollar company, was founded off the back of Craigslist’s classifieds section. There will, I suspect, be hundreds of companies founded off of Craigslist before it’s all said and done."






2. Focus On The Few To Find The Many

It's now the 80/20 curve/Pareto Principle that defines our lives. To reference Taylor Pearson again:

"It’s now the 80/20 curve that defines our lives. The statistical term 'fat tails' refers to probability distributions with relatively high probability of extreme outcomes.

80/20 is striking to most people because it indicates that the natural order of most systems is not an equal distribution, but an unequal distribution: only 20% of customers account for 80% of revenue."

So focus on the 20% of your contacts, clients  or income sources opportunities that give you 80% of your income, develop these relationships.




3. Benefit From The Fat Tail Fractal Factor


When you are focusing on the  “fat tail” - the 20% who deliver 80% of the results - understand that the fat tail, the 80/20 is fractal, meaning it can be applied to itself.

So for example, if 20% of people own 80% of the land, we can then take the 80/20 of that new 20%. In that case, 4% of people would own 64% of the land.

If we then took the 80/20 of that, then 0.8% of people own 51.2% of the land.

The Top 1% Of Fat Tails Account For 50% Of The Results.

So when focusing on the top 20%, remember that somewhere in amongst that group is a subset - which may be just one or two individuals - who will deliver over 50% of your results.






4. Exercise Influence Without Authority

There are many situations where you are not in charge, you do not have formal authority and yet you can still build relationships and alliances with useful, influential and powerful people.

These people are as likely to be found in the informal networks of an organisation, as in the formal management structure.

You may not realise it but you can exercise influence -  sometimes considerable influence - by the practise of "the law of reciprocity".

Sourced from my change management website here is a free download of a 6 Step Model to Exercising Influence Without Authority.







Return from "The Red Queen Effect" to: Mental Models






English Chinese (Traditional) Russian French German Italian Spanish Vietnamese



LATEST ARTICLES

  1. Coram Deo - Living In Consciousness

    In you there is a dimension of consciousness far deeper than thought. It is the very essence of who you are. Coram Deo is about living in consciousness. It is a Latin phrase which literally means “to…

    Read More

  2. The Power Of Patience - Why You Need The World's Toughest Quality

    Nothing in the world can take the place of patience. Patience and persistence are omnipotent. In everyday life, patience is often overshadowed by the desire for immediate results. We live in an era of…

    Read More

  3. Demonizing The Other and Personal Acts Of Compassion

    What Does Demonizing The Other Mean? Demonizing the other refers to the act of portraying a group of people or an individual as inherently evil, threatening, or inferior. It often serves to justify di…

    Read More

  4. Why You Should Embrace Anomalies - The Incredible Value Of Disconfirming Evidence

    Is Your Desire To Be Right Greater Than Your Desire To Have Been Right? An anomaly is a deviation from what is expected or commonly regarded as the norm. It often appears as an unexpected observation…

    Read More

  5. Amazing Grace - The Majesty And The Mercy of Freedom From Your Pain

    "I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see." The hymn and popular song "Amazing Grace" was written 250 years ago by John Newton, a former slave trader who in 1748 nearly died in a…

    Read More

  6. The Transformative Power Of Acceptance

    Experience The Power Of Acceptance. This website contains about 500,000 words. You could read every single word and it wouldn't make any real difference to you. You might become better informed, but t…

    Read More

  7. Inversion - The Power Of Opposite Thinking

    How To Avoid The Unwanted Outcome. The power of opposite thinking, also known as inversion, lies in its ability to stimulate creativity, enhance problem-solving, and provide a fresh perspective on cha…

    Read More

  8. Are You Aligned With Reality? Or Do You See What You Believe?

    We tend to see that which aligns with what we believe, and to act upon that rather than acting on reality. Being aligned with reality starts with a clear and accurate understanding of the world. It me…

    Read More

  9. The Law Of Response and Outcome

    A New Approach To A New Life At time of writing we are entering a new year which is traditionally a time of making resolutions to change our behaviour and improve the quality of our lives. And yet pow…

    Read More

  10. Clear Thinking - Turning Ordinary Moments Into Extraordinary Results

    There are two ways to handle the world - try to predict, or try to prepare. "Clear Thinking" by Shane Parrish, published in Oct 2023, is a laudable testament to the art of cogent thinking, and will be…

    Read More

  11. Self Dialogue - Working With Your Many Selves

    Self Dialogue Is About Working With ALL Levels Of Your Mind. The key to effective self dialogue is to have tools, techniques and resources that work with all levels of your mind. This simple self-faci…

    Read More

  12. The Balanced Brain - The Ultimate Route To Personal Transformation

    How To Experience The Benefits Of A Balanced Brain. Underpinning all of the belief systems and practices that offer routes to personal change, transformation and spiritual growth is the balanced brain…

    Read More

  13. How To Make Better Decisions - By Avoiding The Narrative Trap

    To Understand The Truth We Have To See The Whole Picture. One of the best ways to make better decisions is to have a deeper understanding of the many things that might stop that happening. To understa…

    Read More

  14. The Greatest Love - The Most Important Relationship You Will Ever Have

    Yet Most Will Never Know It Everyone of us has a place, in our hearts there's a space, that is home to the greatest love of all. This love transcends everything we think we know about the world of for…

    Read More

  15. Everything Is Connected And Why You Don't Feel It

    ...And Why It Matters As human beings we are skating on very thin ice with our sense of self and certainty about "how things are" and what we like to think of as reality:

    - What if everything we think…

    Read More

  16. Who Is In Charge Of Your Brain?

    How Not To Be Stupid. Who is in charge of your brain? This is not a silly questions. It matters because the outcomes that you experience in your life are determined by how you respond to the events th…

    Read More

  17. How To Be A Winner On A Very Large Scale

    The Incredible Benefits Of Selective Attention. This is not a typical article about how to be a winner. We are not going to talk about goal setting, the importance of habits, the power of focus and al…

    Read More

  18. The Metagame Approach To Life

    How To Achieve Your Biggest Objectives. The metagame approach to life is all about winning and achieving your biggest objectives by: - Understanding the bigger picture
    - Being better by doing things d…

    Read More

  19. Shantideva - The Way Of The Bodhisattva

    Walking The Path Of Compassion. Shantideva the 8th century Indian Buddhist sage is famous for his treatise "The Way of the Bodhisattva" delivered as an extended teaching to the monks of Nalanda monast…

    Read More

  20. Reframing History - Deconstruction And Discussion Not Destruction

    History is always about context, not imposing our own moral values on the past. For those of us fortunate enough to live within western democracies, we are living in an age where a vociferous and into…

    Read More

  21. Tao Te Ching - Connecting To Your True Source Of Power.

    How To Be Lived By The Tao. The Tao Te Ching is one of those books that many people read, few understand, and even fewer put into practice. The only way to know the Tao is to experience it, and it is…

    Read More

  22. How Things Really Are - The Inbuilt Design Flaws

    Chaos, Disorder And Decay Is The Natural Order Of Things. Nobody has the perfect life. We all struggle and strive to attain health, wealth and personal happiness. Yet these three big areas: our health…

    Read More

  23. Intuition Or Anxiety - Are There Angels Or Devils Crawling Here?

    How To Tell The Difference Between Intuition and Anxiety. How do you know whether the voice of your intuition is real or just the product of your inner anxiety? Several months ago I was having a drink…

    Read More

  24. What Is Truth - How To Tell A Partial Truth From The Whole Truth?

    How the truth and nothing but the truth is often not the whole truth. My great aunty Flo broke her arm and died. It is true that she broke her arm in 1923. It is also true that she died in 1949. But t…

    Read More

  25. Duality And Life Beyond Your Thinking Mind

    Duality and life beyond your thinking mind focuses on the limitations of time, foreground and background, duality and "stuckness". The first aspect of duality and life beyond your thinking mind focuse…

    Read More

  26. The Conscious Mind Is Limited - Be Aware And Be Prepared

    Being aware is the first stage of being prepared. The conscious mind is limited in so many ways. There are some who would argue that there is no such thing as conscious thought and that it is represen…

    Read More

  27. Your Inner Map Of Reality - Here's Why You Think The Way You Do

    The big picture of how your inner map of reality creates your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. Your inner map of reality is based on the filters of your own ethnic, national, social, family and rel…

    Read More

  28. The Failure Of Cancel Culture - Suppression Not Engagement

    Why we need to wear our beliefs lightly and develop negative capability. Throughout history people have campaigned to fight beliefs, ideologies, and injustices that they perceived to be oppressive, di…

    Read More

  29. 4 Big Reasons Why We Get Stuck In Our Attempts At Personal Change

    Most People Spend Their Entire Life Imprisoned Within The Confines Of Their Own Thoughts. This first of the 4 big reasons why we get stuck is, in my view, the most important. The "self-help industry…

    Read More

  30. How Do I Change And Why Is It So Hard?

    We Would Rather Die Than Change, And We Usually Do In my experience, the vast majority of people who say they want to change don’t change. Most people reading this won’t change because they don’t real…

    Read More



Get new posts by email:









Zen-Tools.Net





Support This Site