Quantum management

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Physicists (at least some of them) tell us that the multiverse is deterministic and that randomness (or uncertainty) is simply our subjective experience of our own particular quantum outcomes in an infinity of outcomes.

Scientifically correct (probably) but not a fat lot of use when businesses are faced with …well…uncertainty.

Recently, a typically insightful and entertaining IoD event addressed business uncertainty.

Are we now dealing with more uncertainty than a eighteenth-century merchant wondering if his cargo of silk was going to reach port, or a seventeenth-century weaver wondering what impact this new-fangled steam would have on the sock business? Probably not in absolute terms, but in terms of speed of change then it is hard not to feel that we are living in uniquely challenging times.

So – some thoughts from the meeting about dealing with uncertainty…call it quantum management…

  • If you are in business, dealing with uncertainty is what you do
  • Successful businesses spend time sensing for future change – and this does not require huge strategy departments it just requires some space for thought
  • Successful businesses make change happen – they don’t just react to what others do
  • Successful businesses design in flexibility, such as (gulp) zero-hour contracts and cloud-based rented software
  • Successful businesses accept that most of what actually happens will still be a surprise but are resilient enough to cope with this and take advantage of events

And don’t forget, your certainty about things, indeed your reality, is just a comforting illusion that helps you and your organisation cope with all that quantum weirdness.

Connect with Nick Bettes Consulting

Testing template One thought on “Quantum management”

  1. Donald says:

    You lost me there Nick a bit at the start! But seriously, I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts about uncertainty. As you say the key is resilience and flexibility. For me this is twofold, not only in terms of the business structure but also personally. We all experience set backs in business and in our lives in general. I recently watched a TED talk by Paul Hannam (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTgKS2bOlqI) who had been an incredibly successful businessman who lost a lot of money in the 2008 crash. He actually realised he was happier once he returned to the UK after his failed business venture in the US as he realised more and more about what was truly important to him. I think to be resilient in business, you have to be passionate about what you do, and importantly know what’s important and makes you strong. You become reactive if you don’t know what your defining principles are, and go along with the latest trend. It’s far better to follow your instinct and take action and make the change yourself.

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