Managing At The Edge
© Danah Zohar 1997
Leading management educator, physicist and philosopher
Author of best-selling books
The Quantum Self: Human Nature and Consciousness Defined by the New Physics
The Quantum Society: Mind, Physics, and a New Social Vision
Rewiring the Corporate Brain: Using the New Science to Rethink How We Structure and Lead Organizations
Who's Afraid of Schrodinger's Cat?: All the New Science Ideas You Need to Keep Up With the New Thinking
More books here!
In chaos science, the edge is the border between order and chaos. It is the place where new order and new information are created, the place where Nature gives rise to dynamic, self organizing systems. We humans are at our most creative, too, when our thinking is poised at the edge, when we are not too certain, not too fixed, when we are open to multiple possibilities.
Dr Danah Zohar, a physicist and philosopher from Oxford, England will deliver a keynote lecture at the 26th IFTDO annual Conference on developing human potential in companies through learning to manage at the edge. Zohar, bestselling author of The Quantum Self, The Quantum Society and Rewiring the Corporate Brain, uses ideas and images from the new science (quantum physics, chaos and complexity theory) to teach new thinking about the structure and leadership of organizations. A "quantum society" or a "quantum organization", she says, is poised at the edge, able to thrive on uncertainty, ambiguity, and multiple possibility. Learning to manage at the edge is learning the art of paradox and both/and thinking, learning to think outside the box.
David Fulton, Director for Advanced Management Training at Shell was one of the first corporate people ever to book Zohar for an in-house presentative. He used her repeatedly to train senior managers from Shell and IBM in the company's Challenges for Change program.
"The idea is to get our people thinking radically and innovatively, rethinking basic assumptions about competition and the way the world works. Danah Zohar's lecturers were a great beginning for that."
Zohar takes senior executives on a speedy trek through the old and new science, and shows how each has or can provide a potent model for management thinking.
"The old Newtonian science gave rise to Frederick Taylor's Scientific Management Theory. This was management based on certainty, predictability, rigid hierarchy, power emanating from the centre or from the top. It was management by the single idea, the "one best way". Quantum physics and chaos theory are about physical systems that thrive very complex and creative. 'Quantum management' is about flexibility, about appreciating many paths from A to B, about responding to the unforeseen and turning it into profitable application."
Several years ago Zohar founded Oxford Quantica Consultants. The company offers a range of lectures, seminars and workshops designed to help companies apply these ideas practically in business. As a result of one such seminar, Volvo redesigned its car-making teams. Andrew Stone, The Joint Managing Director of the global retailing business, Marks & Spencer says Zohar's ideas have changed the way he manages. Other global clients of Oxford Quantica include Shell, Motorola, British Telecom, British Gas, Astra Pharmaceutical, Philip Morris Tobacco, Philips Electronics, Norwich Union Financial Services, The Swedish Forestry Commission, McCann Erikson and McKinsey.
In her new book Rewiring the Corporate Brain, Danah Zohar combines ideas from her seminars with feedback and in-company experience with executives to show how corporate thinking can be expanded and brought to the edge. The human brain, she argues, is the best model we have for how an intelligent, learning organization can function. But the human brain does three kinds of thinking, while most corporations do at best only one. "If we could learn about the full potential, we could develop organizational infrastructures that could develop full human potential and utilize the whole corporate brain."
Danah Zohar teaches in The Leading Edge course at Oxford Brookes University and in the Oxford Strategic Leadership Program at Oxford University's Templeton College.
Danah Zohar presented a one-day Seminar on Leadership At The Edge: Using the New Science to Rethink How We Structure and Lead Organizations in the New Millennium on Oct 27 at Hotel Equatorial Bangi and she is also one of the Keynote Speakers at The 26th IFTDO World Conference and Exhibition on Training and Development - New Paradigms: Wholistic Human Resource Development; Oct 28 - 30 at PWTC Kuala Lumpur.
In-house program details, contact Conference Manager RAYMA Management Consultants (M'sia) Sdn Bhd at Tel: (03) 7044 666 Fax: (03) 7044 484 or email: email@example.com