All you need is love … and a little bit of quantum entanglement
It can achieve the impossible, heal a rift, calm a riot, avoid all out conflict, save the world. Love… a small word with myriad meanings; a series of rather mundane chemical reactions, a powerful maternal instinct, a spiritual connection with a mysterious other-worldly universal energy amongst them.
Spiritual souls have long spoken of love’s power to bring joy, shed light on the darkest times, and manifest reality in the physical world. Gurus urge us to show love in all we do and think, to be ‘kind to ourselves’ and to practice ‘gratitude’ towards the universe and the experiences and resources it provides for us. Authors and script writers have bestowed upon love the power to reach through space and time, connecting otherwise insignificant people, places and events to a greater purpose (or script).
Love is a major part of our daily lives and it shows up differently for all of us. How can we bring the power of love to our work and harness its energy towards positive outcomes and a better experience for everyone?
We know that people naturally organise into tribes – usually around areas of common interest or shared experience. We also know that tribes have their own codes of conduct, myths and legends, rituals and emblems, and that all of these become deeply embedded and meaningful as the tribe develops its identity over time. Catalysts such as hardship, pressure, repetition and deeply held shared beliefs accelerate the process and deepen tribal cohesiveness. Tribes can become monsters capable of the most terrible things, (there are many examples throughout human history), or they can be a magnificent force for good – driving innovation, challenging injustice, lifting human consciousness and improving the world.
Organisations are usually made up of any number of tribes which can overlap and contradict one another. ‘Turf wars’ and ‘empire building’ are common language (and practice) in most workplaces. It’s quite the conundrum that tribal behaviour is the cause of many headaches, whilst it’s a critical part of the magical mix that brings people together in support of a cause or in pursuit of an outcome. To form a movement we need the magic of a metatribe– a tribe of tribes!
Leadership, Ownership, Values and Energy are amongst the foundations of any metatribe - a movement cannot survive without them.
Without courageous, committed, capable and aligned leadership a movement is fractured and weakened. Heroes are the stuff of legends and can’t be seen to be self-serving or ambivalent, they must be fiercely supportive of the cause. Overt ownership gives everybody a genuine part to play. Ownership drives slick values chains, a great employee experience and turns customers into a fan base. Shared values drive trust, without them a movement has foundations of sand. Demonstrating values through behaviour, and making examples of those who do (and don’t), creates a scaffold for unselfish prioritisation, principle-based decision making and greater autonomy. Whilst energy allows us to get up in the morning and make a difference, play a part, positively change the world one move at a time.
And, what of quantum entanglement? We now know that at a quantum level some particles demonstrate a fundamental connection to other particles regardless of the physical distance between them. It’s as if any change to one of the connected particles is simultaneously applied to (or replicated by) the other. It’s as if they are of one mind and body – the connection and alignment of state between the particles remains firmly intact no matter what. The potential of quantum mechanics is yet to be fully explored but it’s already clear that these unexpected quantum relationships will drive a paradigm shift in the capacity and capability of future super-computers. What aspects of quantum mechanics can we emulate across organisations by encouraging informal networks, leveraging technology platforms for connectivity, and hot-housing innovation. Let’s work out how to create a swarm, a hive, a living movement that thinks and acts as one being in support of a cause …