The day our world changed forever. Unlocking nature's greatest secret. A lesson for organisations

"It was around three o'clock in the morning when the final results of my calculations were before me.  I felt profoundly shaken.  I was so agitated that I could not sleep.  I left the house and began walking slowly in the dark.  I climbed on a rock overlooking the sea at the tip of the island, and waited for the sun to come up..."

23 Year old Werner Heisenberg on the windswept island of Helgoland off the coast of Denmark, 1925


Nearly a century ago the young Werner Heisenberg, recuperating on the barren and wind swept island of Helgoland in the North Sea off the coast of Denmark, unlocked Nature's greatest secret.  The magical world of Quantum Physics.

Our world would never be the same again.  His discovery would transform physics, the whole of science, and our very understanding of the world.  Including a, which are still struggling to understand the full impact of his work.

Carlo Rovelli, famous physicist, described also as a philosopher and poet, has written this wonderful book about the quantum world in a language that is easy to understand and simple to apply key principles to the world around us.  He quotes Heisenberg:

"Suddenly I no longer had any doubts about the consistency of the new 'quantum' mechanics that my calculation described.  At first, I was deeply alarmed.  I had the feeling that I had gone beyond the surface of things and was beginning to see a strangely beautiful interior, and felt dizzy at the thought that now I had to investigate this wealth of mathematical structures that Nature had so generously spread out before me."

The key to Rovelli's book is all about the complexity and difference in relations between objects.

'Reality is decidedly not how it is described by classical physics.  Quantum theory describes the way in which one part of nature manifests itself to any other single part of nature.' p67.

Objects such as cats, pens or bananas do not exist in isolation.  They exist through continuous interaction with other objects.  Individual objects are the way in which they interact.  Thus there are no properties outside of interaction.  And the way in which an object interacts with another object is unique to that object, and will be different with each and every other object.


If we apply these principles to people we can posit the following.

  • People exist only in terms of their relations and interactions with others. We exist relationally.
  • People are never fixed objects with fixed characteristics. The observation of an individual by another individual is always unique. Two observations by different people can never be the same.

Our rapidly emerging leadership lexicon is being filled, not with practical steps, but rather with an array of metaphysical advice. Be resilient. Be trustworthy. Have a strong purpose. Have a great value set etc.

The fundamental problems with this are as follows.

  • None of these things actually exist in the real world of 'rivers, trees and lions.' They are metaphysical objects existing in our minds only.
  • Even if these metaphysical objects existed they can never be the same in more than one relationship.
  • These terms come with no universal measurement, no method, no objective evidence, and most importantly no 'how to'.  How can we teach 'resilience' for example if it does not actually exist, at least in the way hitting a golf ball exists?


In the example above we have explored the quantum concept of multiple views of and by an individual and others. We examine three assessments as follows.

  • Potential energy. 'How I see myself.' Using the GC Index we assess the potential energy of the individual based on a self assessment.
  • Organisational energy. 'How I see the world around me.' Using our own proprietary tool, the individual assesses the energy level in the work environment.
  • Kinetic energy. 'How the world sees me'. Again using our own proprietary tool, colleagues assess the individual in action at work.

Understanding the real DNA of Organisations


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