I’m fascinated by science and the predictable, orderly nature of the physical world around us. And while human systems are much less predictable than physical systems, it’s useful to think of how scientific principles might also apply to human systems.
Consider Newton’s Three Laws of Motion:
1. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
Organizational Law of Motion #1: An organization will stay status quo until something happens to make it change. It might be an external force or an internal force that jolts the organization from its current trajectory.
2. A body of mass subject to a force undergoes an acceleration that has the same direction as the force and a magnitude that is directly proportional to the force and inversely proportional to the mass, i.e., F = ma.
Organizational Law of Motion #2: The larger the organization, the more force, er, influence, it takes to get it to move. Also, the faster you want an organization to change direction, the larger the influence required. And, the direction of the organization is determined by the sum total of the directions of influence.
3. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Organizational Law of Motion #3: The harder you push, the greater the resistance.
What would you add to the interpretation of the organizational laws of motion?