One of the many joys of Wimbledon fortnight is the satisfying binary nature of triumphs and defeats. Win or lose. In or out. The rules are clear, the result is clear. It’s genuine satisfaction: everyday life, especially at work, is so frustratingly non-binary.
I wonder whether we admit that quite enough?
During team sessions this week, I’ve seen again a huge reluctance to view situations as…. ambiguous. This is not an artsy or fluffy view of the world: the notion of ambiguity is – since the work of great scientific thinkers such as Max Planck, Einstein, Niels Bohr – scientific.
Quantum theory opened our minds to a powerful notion – that of wave/ particle duality – it is possible for matter/ energy to behave as a particle in one set of circumstances, and as a wave in a different context. Neither one thing, nor the other…but possibly both.
In a fantastic linkage between Captain Kirk and real life, news of a successful ‘teleporting’ experiment broke this week. The principle is called ‘quantum entanglement’ – two particles react as one, even when there is no connection between them.
Would there be different outcomes for ‘change programmes’ if we could experiment with this way of thinking, rather than the mechanistic (and control driven) binary either/ or model? Could some way of acknowledging the mysterious energetic connections between people and their environments lead to success?
We need a new sort of Business School.
It might offer the Planck – Bohr Leadership Programme.