A new book tells us that we can learn a lot from the Octopus. They're very smart, for example, they can use coconut shells for protection, but they don't waste their time figuring out which color to use for camouflage. Individual cells respond to their environment, changing colors as needed. This kind of decentralized authority allows for quick flexible responses that could never be achieved if the octopus had to think about it. The author says that this kind of decision making could be used by lots of human organizations to provide optimal responses in the least time. Sadly, at the PO, we're just sitting around banging coconut shells together.
In completely un related news, while I was composing this post, my sister called and she is staying at house that used to belong to Steve Largent!