There are many lessons we can learn from the many efficient and well-orchestrated systems of the human body. Cell differentiation occurs very early on in the development of the human embryo, allowing for cells to perform highly specialised functions. The immune system serves as a wonderful analogy of how cell specialisation, collaboration, team work, diversity and effective communication paves the way for a streamlined organisation.

At VIVA! Communications we have adopted five life lessons learned from the immune system that mark the features of a well-oiled, corporate ecosystem.

Lesson 1: Build diverse and collaborative teams

At the centre of the immune system, we have the key leaders, the dendritic cells. These cells make up the C-suite. The job of dendritic cells is to use their breadth of experience to detect pathogens and develop an immune strategy. Following detection, their vision and expertise is disseminated to the other cells of the immune system through the lymphatic system to get them activated and working towards a common goal.

Dendritic cells use specific messaging (chemokines) for tailored communication to each immune cell type (macrophages, neutrophils, lymphocytes, phagocytes). At VIVA!, the host of other immune cells comprise the creatives, the media gurus, the medical nerds and organisers. It is essential for the dendritic cells to consider the strength of combined diverse expertise to harness each team member’s strength and to boost productivity. Well written briefs that consider the different communication styles of each individual team member, as well as a unified front, is the cornerstone for an efficient VIVA! ecosystem.

Lesson 2: Learn through positive and negative feedback

The maturity and therefore functionality of T- immune cells demonstrate the need for a delicate balance between positive and negative feedback. Too much or too little of either renders T -cells inexperienced to respond appropriately. Balanced and constructive feedback is a factor for correcting autoimmune disorders.

Lesson 3: Throw out the cookie cutters

If each time the immune system was faced with a different pathogen, the immune cells responded in exactly the same way, it would fail to protect us against viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. The immune system team does not need to change every time, nor does the team at VIVA!. Rather we adopt, adapt and utilise emotional intelligence, different tools, strategies and tactics to tackle the task ahead. A fluid approach and diverse skills setallows for a cohesive workplace.

Lesson 4: Balance is the key to success

When we are immunosuppressed, we are more likely to be struck down by another pathogen. Ensuring we put the right measures into place for a speedy and full recovery helps to fully restore our immune system. Interestingly, in the cancer therapeutics space, innovative treatments are aimed at restoring immune cells function to ensure they are revived for fighting cancer cells.

We all know that when we are over-worked and poorly rested, we don’t function at our peak. Neither does an organisation. At VIVA! Communications, we try our best to maintain a work/life balance, so that we can always bring our A-game to the table. After our recent, successful two-day annual kick-off workshop for 2019, one of our primary goals for this year is to lead by example.

Lesson 5: Learn from life experiences

The cornerstone of our adaptive immune system is the ability to draw on past experience, allowing for a faster, more tailored response to a pathogen for when we next come into contact with it. Taking time to reflect on, learn from past experiences and share our experiences among team members allows for faster, better and more refined solutions to future problems.