On the unraveling of means and ends…
Part II of the coherent series
To further develop my concept of organizational coherence, it might be worth a brief digression to investigate quantum decoherence.
The Allegory of Plague Dr. Schrödinger whimsically explains the basic concept.
tl;dr: Quantum decoherence is the collapse of multiple superpositioned (different) states into the single observed state. According to the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics, this collapse is caused by observation.
Let’s analogize the heck out of this. Take an organization to be a quantum object. Give it some possible quantum states:
- Acting in accordance with stated goals, principles, etc.
- Acting against stated goals, principles, etc.
- Seeming to be principled
- Being principled
Now, an organization might find tension between some of their goals. Or, their goals might be in conflict with current business practices, social norms, or whatever.
Now, these tensions, conflicts, or inconsistencies manifest as a sort of organizational cognitive dissonance. Eventually, the organization will likely be examined/investigated/checked-out. This is the observation.
The superpositioned states collapse into one. We see the organization for what it truly is, or at least has become. This is the decoherence.
At this point, the analogy starts to stretch, so let’s just leave it here.
The dechoerent organization
is at odds with itself.