Radioactive Metamorphosis of Organizations
Published on: Aug 22, 2017

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This section intends to explore the resemblance of Quantum World with the declining or transmutation phase of a Company.  And for doing that, we need to keep in mind, the below analogical mapping from chapter 1:

•          Why ~= Vision/Core Values ~= Neutron

•          What ~= Product/Service ~= Protons

•          How ~= People ~= Electrons

For any organizational stability, there needs to be a fine balancing act between the Vision (Why part) and Products (What part). Any tilt, destabilizes the company; just like the atomic nucleus. The instability in a nucleus increases if the ratio of Neutron and Proton deviates from 1:1. The Strong Force binds the Neutron and Proton only till certain limit of healthy ratio; beyond which we see decay of the nucleus.

Possible metamorphosis of companies

  • Nuclear Fission: Just like an unstable nucleus is broken into 2 stable nuclei, a large unstable company gets fragmented into 2 smaller stable companies. The fission is initiated when the unstable nucleus is hit by external neutron. For the organization, this external neutron (why part) plays a key role in the split and can be in the form of the external consultant, analyst, investor or venture capitalist. Best example is Hewlett-Packard splitting into HP Enterprise and HP Inc.

                        

  • Alpha decay: α-decay is a type of radioactive decay in which an unstable atomic nucleus emits an alpha particle (helium nucleus) and thereby transforms into a stable atom with smaller atomic mass and number. When the organization's core vision seem to deviate from the current bag of product portfolio, then at some point in time it needs to let go of few portfolios. This could mean spin off and/or layoffs of people. Examples are Infineon spinning out of Siemens or NXP coming out of Philips.

 

  • Beta decay: The beta decay is a slow process of release of electron to keep the atom stable. Similarly, in a company, depending on the financial circumstances, it needs to let go of its electrons (people) to keep the company stable and profitable. In this case, Best Examples are the IT Services companies in India.
  • Nuclear Fusion: It is a process of merger of two or more smaller nuclei to form the giant stable atom. Similarly two companies go for a merger to form a bigger company like Tata Steel-Corus or Dell-EMC. The nuclear fusion needs huge amount of energy and pressure to overcome the Electromagnetic repulsion between the protons to bring them close enough for Strong Cohesive Force to keep them together in a nucleus. Likewise, the portfolio overlaps (WHAT part) between the merging companies might create a repulsion that has to be overcome by a strong WHY for the merger. 

Concluding remarks:

Each of these organizational transformations, whether fusion or fission, produces huge amount of energy which has big impact in the stock market. Sometimes the reactions do not find a controlled environment and goes into a chain reaction like Freescale Semiconductor merges with NXP which eventually merged with Qualcomm.


QUANTUM METAPHOR OF ORGANIZATION THEORY

1. Quantum Physics: A trusted guide for a growing organization

2. Organization and the Wave Particle Duality

3. Radioactive Metamorphosis of Organizations



About the author

Saurav Srivastava

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