[Thoughts] Quantum physics, The Matrix and the corporate world

The problem with beliefs (see my previous post “I don’t believe in Digital”) is that beliefs determine your reality.

I am surprised that as individuals and as a human society, we have not learnt of the implication of Quantum Physics and it’s multiple repercussions in all fields of human activities ( but that’s another topic and if you’re interested you’ll find wealth of material on the Internet and a documentary in the footnotes).

Quantum physics has left scientists all over the world baffled, especially with the discovery that our physical material reality, isn’t really physical at all.
So belief in a material world we can grasp through our sense and common sense is flawed. Deeply flawed.

Interestingly enough, it’s the discovery of quantum physics that has led to invention of computer (1939), transistor (1947), WWW (1990), laser (1960) and can therefore be considered as the impulse of the digital disruption currently at work.

“Welcome to the desert of the Real” (Morpheus)
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.

We like to think we are rational, but that’s just because we are not aware, and have not been made aware of our cognitive and heuristic biases.
To make sense of the world around us, we tend to simplify, use shortcuts to manage the complexity of our environment. Most of the times it’s a good thing and allows us to function (ie. we don’t need to think to breathe to breathe). But for more sophisticated cognitive processes – ie. making decisions it can be a problem.
If you’re not familiar with the the concept, there a neat list here.
And you can find examples in corporate life in this article from CFO/Mc Kinsey

My biggest concern – as a professional – is how badly the corporate world is equipped to face this reality, recognize the risk and minimize its devastating consequences on business strategy and execution.

If you don’t have a framework to re-assess and test the rules of the environment you’re operating, how can you decently expect to decide, adapt, grow and survive.
A company that is not able to envision, express and vocalize what the digital disruption means – for its business, market, product, techniques and processes, employees, stakeholders… – is a company that is doomed to die from irrelevance.
And if this vision starts and stops with digital advertising alone and just cool shiny objects it is already dead.

“Most organizations still rely on a way of working designed for the industrial age. Their operating models have barely changed since they were invented over 100 years ago” (Undercurrent)

Therefore the first step towards evolution and change is to test the belief system of your company, department, team… even yours.
And there are 6 leads of opinion or belief change – that I’ve discovered this week in an EdX course on Heuristics and Biases by the University of Queensland, Australia

  1. what do you believe anyway?
  2. how well based is the opinion that you already hold?
  3. how good is the evidence? Is it based on experiments? Is it based on that personal experience? How good are the data?
  4. does the evidence really contradict what you already believe? Is there a way of reframing the issue, of stating the evidence in a way that allows you to use this new information, this new evidence, rather than just rejecting it outright?
  5. given the evidence presented, if that’s not enough for you to change your mind, change your opinion, then what would be enough?
  6. is it worth finding out about, or is just a case of why not? Why don’t I just continue to believe this stuff? What’s the cost? Can I just persist in this belief?

And good opportunity to test your belief system – applied to marketing  would be Dr. Byron Sharp‘s book “How brands grow”.
It is a myth-busting book, in the tradition of classic scientific discoveries. Unlike most business books it’s based on extensive data, on real world buying, and is based on decades of research that has progressively uncovered scientific laws about buying and brand performance.

Equation-for-ChangeThat’s all folks.
I hope to develop further in the next posts re: cognitive bias and the equation for Change

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