The smallest particles

The press is full of the stories about the CERN particle collision experiments that began yesterday; some folks were suggesting this could create a black hole and potentially bring about the end of the world!  The best reaction I heard was one enterprising young lady who thought this meant that homework was now not required.They are trying to see if they can learn more about the nature of creation by literally smashing atoms to their constituent parts.

The thing about complex systems such as companies, is that there is always a bit more to them than just the sum total of their parts.  The true art of management and leadership is to create this kind of magic whereby 1+1+1 equals more than 3.  During takeovers and acquisitions or cost cutting regimes, people try to slice out bits but sometimes the heart is removed as well.

Trying to understand a living system by just examining its ‘bits’ doesn’t necessarily work as it misses the impact of the ‘ghost in the machine’.

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art”  Leonardo da Vinci

“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.”  Napoleon Bonaparte

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