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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Hobday

The typhoon and the spider’s web

At the time (around five years ago now), I’d not been caught up in a typhoon when in Japan.  But if you’ve got to experience a typhoon, then Japan’s probably the best place to do it.  The TV coverage tracks the typhoon’s path with great precision.  The houses have shutters to protect windows from flying branches.  And the population is as well prepared for extreme weather events as any can be.

The wind gusts through the night were incredible.  But the walk through the park the next morning showcased the sheer power of a typhoon (See photo below of the uprooted tree).

Yet the most interesting lesson for me was observing a humble spider in its web.  Whilst it’s fairly we known that a spider’s web is super strong, it’s amazing to see one fully intact after a typhoon.  Even more amazing is to see it fully of bugs, delivered there thanks to the strong winds - more bugs than the spider would have caught in the two weeks of regular conditions proceeding the typhoon.  It made me think; If organisations can build strong, flexible structures like spiders’ webs, then in times of extreme conditions (when other structures are getting uprooted), those organisations may in fact prosper through the storms.


Photo: Tree damage from a typhoon in a Japanese park (Photo by Andrew Hobday)

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