I could not resist the temptation to write some thoughts about a parallel that came to my mind when reading about enzymes. Enzyme has two characteristics that are specifically as binding to the ligands called substrates which are able to covalently modify them, and the second is to catalyze the formation and breaking of covalent bonds by stabilizing intermediate states of the substrates that need to go through when they are converted to a product. Imagine that a business is nothing more than an “enzyme”.
If the business behavior would mimic the two main characteristics of an enzyme, then we will have businesses that are directly transformed by “people” and “environment”, but never the other way around. Businesses that cannot be transformed by people would not exist since their main existence is for people to strive such that businesses can make a “product”.
Businesses shall be forming the society’s intermediate “substrates”; although we use currently the term as “people are our catalysts”, the symbolism associated with, is not correctly used because businesses are those catalysts for societies to harmoniously exist. There are two characteristics that determine the properties and capabilities of an enzyme such as substrate affinity which defines how well the enzyme binds to its substrate and maximal velocity that define how quickly the bound substrate can be converted into product. A formula named “Michaelis-Menten” establishes the relationship between maximal velocities of a product formation when all enzyme molecules are occupied by a substrate molecule. Its value is proportional to the total concentration of enzyme and increases when more enzymes are present.
The concentration of the substrate is the measure of the affinity of a substrate for the enzyme. The capability of an enzyme to convert substrate to product unit time is what businesses will need to be careful about because their function is to support the new “product” obtained. If the concentration of substrate is important, then obviously firing people to make a product is against the natural behavior.
Since nature existed before businesses have started to form, we might be able to further develop the theory of “enzymes” in businesses. Conversions and intrinsic capabilities of businesses to transform substrates into “products” have to be useful for life to develop within a quality environment.