It may seem odd to look to the discipline of quantum physics for lessons that will help create future-ready leaders. But science has a lot to offer us.
Like scientists, leaders must be able to deal with rapid change and ambiguity in a non-linear, multidisciplinary and interconnected environment. But for the most part, companies are trapped in processes that rely on the paradigm of certainty and predictability. This approach is analogous to Newtonian physics, which was developed in the 17th century.
The ambiguity in which corporate leaders operate is encapsulated in mathematical models developed by the advances in quantum physics developed in the early 1900s. These advances culminated in massive technological advances. And they can accommodate the archetypes of complexity and uncertainty found in nature—and now, by extension, human behavior.
These mathematical models enable improved scenarios and forecasts. They are therefore very useful in significantly improve decision-makingas pointed out by author Adam C. Hall.
Quantum physics and quantum organizations
Throughout history, scholars have attempted to understand human behavior, and hence leadership, by studying natural phenomena.
To According to complexity economist Brian Arthur and physicist Geoffrey West, human social systems function optimally as complex adaptive systems—or quantum systems.
The newly developed field of quantum guidance maps the human, conscious equivalents to the 12 systems that define complex adaptive systems or quantum organizations. These are: self-awareness; vision and value oriented; Spontaneity; Holism; field independence; Humility; ability to transform; ask basic questions; celebration of diversity; positive use of adversity; Compassion; a sense of calling (purpose).
Quantum guidance is essential a new management approach that integrates the most effective attributes of traditional leadership with recent advances in both quantum physics and neuroscience. It is a model that allows greater responsiveness. It draws on our innate ability to recognize, adapt, and respond to uncertainty and complexity.
My academic work was nanophysics. This is a study in which the laws of physics are governed by quantum physics, as opposed to Newton’s rigid and deterministic approach.
Entering the corporate world, I was interested in how leaders should respond to complexity, ambiguity and non-linearity. This complementarity widened my curiosity. This in turn led me to move into several disciplines dealing with complex systems.
Quantum mechanics was confirmed by scientific proof. That most cited experiment was that Nobel laureate theoretical development by Louis-Victor Pierre Raymond de Broglie to explain the wave-particle duality of light, represented by the double Thomas Young’s slit experiment. This showed that the outcome of a possible event is diverse and depends on the observer’s perspective.
This does not imply the correctness or incorrectness of any result. It just shows how perspective can—and does—influence behavior and decision-making.
In order to cope with the tremendous changes brought about by the fourth industrial revolution, companies must recognize that the results are perspective dependent and random. This industrial revolution has the potential to bring about fundamental and positive changes in the way societies and work are organized.
Disruptive technologies like mobile banking, practices like remote working, and dramatic shifts in consumer behavior inevitably tear leadership away from a linear mindset as they uncover non-linear opportunities.
The need to develop leaders who can deal with pervasive disruption has been recognized by leading business schools. include examples The INSEAD program for executive education. One course covers developing effective strategies and learning to innovate in a disruptive, uncertain world.
Definition of the quantum leader
The concept of a quantum leader wins Traction in behavioral studies.
Quantum leaders are on the “edge of chaos” as are the systems they must manage. They live off the potential hidden in uncertainty. They are also:
In doing so, they bring about a radical break with the past.
Practically, quantum leadership is informed by quantum thinking and guided by the defining principles of quantum physics. Quantum leaders think ahead by formulating many scenarios for the future, encouraging questions and experimentation, and capitalizing on uncertainty.
Quantum leaders are guided by the same principles that shape complex adaptive systems. They can also work effectively outside of the direct control of formal systems. You have the ability to restate challenges and problems in the context of the environment. And develop new approaches through relationships.
In short, they are curious, adaptable, and tolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty.
The charismatic and powerful leader like the icon Lee Iacocca ran Chrysler the company to great heights. still he could not foresee the dominance of Japanese car manufacturers. Counseling as a matter of form but enforcing what they believed to be their superior mindset, Lionized Leaders are the antithesis of what a quantum leader represents.
The ingrained categorization or division between “hard, like physics” and “soft, humanities in general” sciences is self-limiting. It creates unnecessary chasms between creativity and innovation. The quantum management paradigm recognizes that analytics, design, creativity and human behavior must be integrated into the mindset of future leaders.
Where to from here?
The World Economic Forum estimates that digital transformation will transform one third of all jobs worldwide within the next decade. In addition, billions of people need to be retrained. This trend will hit developing countries particularly hard. They have limited access to technology, remain tied to traditional teaching methods and still practice top-down management models.
Finding solutions to this scenario requires intellectuals from all disciplines to come together to explore a more agile, multidisciplinary approach to social and corporate management. Based on concepts from quantum theory, we need to create a different way of looking at probabilities and opportunities in business.
Business schools need to develop a new breed of business leaders that can consider all possible outcomes. They must be adaptable enough to function in a world where the results can be counterintuitive. This is the way of the future.