This guest blog post collaboration is between Hagi Fuentes and Abraham M. Gutsioglou, Ph.D., of Think Differently LLC. It highlights the importance of interdisciplinary thinking to influence the outcomes of business transformations.
Mr. Fuentes, opens with a narrative on the gravitational pull from the field of astrophysics, followed by Dr. Gutsioglou integrating the thought process to drive progress when working on business transformations.
Hagi Fuentes, Part 1: The laws of physics…
are naturally at work and apply to everything we do in life. For instance, the way we see things works by light entering our eyes. Our brain transmits that light into an image by way of light traveling through space in a straight path. However, things get tricky when the light gets distorted. For example, when you see an object through water, it may appear larger than it actually is. Astrophysics tells us that gravity can distort light and how you perceive the world around you.
To say it another way, the more mass an object has, the more warped the space around it becomes. The image of a star gets distorted when its light passes through the gravitational effects of a massive star. When the light of the star reaches our eyes (or telescopes), it appears like an elliptical blob instead of a circular star. The same holds true when working on a change management project or business transformation initiative.
tell us that our strategies can be distorted when massive elements are present – elements that curve the fabric of the organization and the culture we are trying to transform. Think of the saying –“culture eats strategy for breakfast.” We see this when the culture of an organization is not aligned with the strategy intended for execution. The most likely outcome is that culture and its weight (i.e., gravitational lensing) will pull and steer the path of progress (or lack thereof) in an entirely different direction.
So, if your expensive team-building retreat fails to deliver the synergy you hoped for or the strategy you crafted starts to fall apart in front of your eyes – chances are…there are bigger things at play.
As you piece together your change and business transformation efforts, think like an astrophysicist to help you see the gravitational lensing. Think of it this way, you can usually get a sense of direction when you are focusing on one path, but everything else is seen in a different way than what is originally intended. This should give you a good indicator that something has a greater gravitational effect than your strategy. Just remind yourself that the more mass an object has, the more warped the space around it will become. From a change management perspective – the mass you are looking for is likely to be found in the place or thing that is forcing you to spend most of your energy and time on. By reorienting yourself and the direction of its pull, you can also improve the outcome of your strategy.