Habits Are Spontaneous Reactions
The issue of alignment is worthy of more attention. I mean the alignment of employees with their peers and their alignment with the firm’s goals. We see this issue in the formation of self-organized shadow organizations within organizations. Conflicts, injustice, lack of trust and internal competition are among the prime factors that a company might segregate into shadow organizations.
The formation of “shadow groups or clusters” in organizations has its dynamics. The formation of shadow groups will give the employees many choices on which group(s) to join. The greater the number of choices is, the greater are the number of “states” available and the greater entropy is. Boltzmann related entropy to the logarithmic number of arrangements a system may have. An organization with many hidden arrangements runs the risk of becoming chaotic unless it opposes this possibility by self-organizing.
Self-organization is referred to as spontaneous order in social sciences. The idea of spontaneous reactions and spontaneous order crossed my mind to explore their correlation. Spontaneous reactions occur when a system loses energy to the surrounding and if the available states for the reactants increase. When the two factors work together in the same direction, the spontaneity of a reaction increases. If not, the prevailing one shall determine the final state of the system.
Habits are spontaneous reactions because we perform them with the least expenditure of energy of thinking. Smoking cigarettes is a spontaneous habit that releases energy to the surrounding and increases the states of available to the smoke resulting from burning cigarettes. Is burning out of employees by some leader is a spontaneous habit that leads to the burning of employees? I include a nice graph by Louise Smith which elaborates nicely on the burning out of employees. Some managers and leaders tend to increase the anxiety and stress of employees and I find this graph useful on dealing with such issues.
The Incredible 5 point scale - Anxiety Model developed by Kari Dunn Buron
What are the forgotten habits of great leaders? I believe the comment of Harvey Lloyd on my previous buzz is of such great magnitude that I repeat part of it here. Harvey wrote in his comment (#26) - “I like the thoughts of your next post. I would pose the following question though. Do leaders create spontaneity or does spontaneity arise by fate?
I have always sensed that opportunity is created by leaders that seek a landscape of "win/win". Within this creation the law of unintended consequences tends to play in your favor of opportunity.
The opposite of creation is risk avoidance. Yes we eliminate risk, but the law of unintended consequences is now working against you by only presenting new risk”.
I find this comment exceedingly insightful. Harvey here refers to entropy and free energy in his own terms. Entropy of unintended consequences (many possible states) is working in the opposite direction of risk avoidance. Harvey reminds me of protein folding because it minimizes the dispersal of energy and therefore adds order to the proteins. However, this decrease in entropy is offset by the internal bonding between the protein chains through varieties of binding forces.
I believe the thermodynamics of habits and their spontaneity is a topic that merits further study. I hope this comment would also shed some light on the role of leaders as motivators as suggested by Tausif Mundrawala in his comment on my previous buzz.
I aim from this buzz to bring to our attention the need to understanding the dynamics of leaders and their habits so as to define and qualify leaders on more solid ground.
I dedicate this buzz to Alan Culler because he has enriched my mind with his comments. My appreciation to Alan is beyond what words can describe.
Business Cranking Power
Thermal Mapping of Stories
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