IMG_9097I was struck this week by some amazing results that a large client team had delivered with us. And reflecting on what did and didn’t work I started to wonder.

As a physicist, I remember something that still fills me with wonder. How people can put their ideas into maths and then find a ‘remainder’ that does not fit (like 2 into 5 goes 2 remainder 1) and then go look in the real world for the remainder. That’s how the Higgs boson was discovered and later found in the real world.

So as an experiment I turned my reflections & thoughts into maths to see what I would learn. Beware the faint hearted, this will require some concentration!!

The problem had been there a long while:

Chaos – management ≠ results

Management – conversation ≠ results

We had to apply two things:

chaos + conversation = learning

chaos + management = results

As a result, people are talking about it:

management + results = conversation 

And we are thinking about why it worked and how we can do more of what worked and less of what didn’t:

Results + conversation = learning

Learning + conversation = management (x2)

And then I wondered if I could look for some “remainder” in the maths and so recognise something in reality

  1. chaos – management≠ results
  2. management – conversation ≠ results
  3. chaos + conversation = learning
  4. chaos + management = results
  5. management + results = conversation
  6. results + conversation = learning
  7. learning + conversation = management

Combining 7 and 1 for example, by substituting for management gives:

chaos – (learning + conversation) ≠ results

So that means you wont get results without engaging people! What about the inverse?

Does (learning + conversation) – chaos = results

Oooow – so management isn’t required if there’s room and time for what people like doing – learning and conversing! And substituting management from 7 into 4 seems to confirm it:

chaos + (learning + conversation) = results

Or matching learning in 6 & 3:

chaos + conversation = results + conversation

Take away conversation from each side and:

chaos = results

What…..ah! One man’s chaos is another man’s results – ah hah !

That explains why two ways of thinking about results results in a lack of results…. c’mon keep up! What about combining 5 and 6:

(chaos + management) + results = conversation

Hmmm – that must be what good management looks like. Or reversing it

(chaos + management) = conversation – results

That must describe a talking shop of endless meetings! I could go on….but only the lovely nerds are still reading LOL

What’s clear is that the way you think, creates the equations. The way you think affects your interpretation of what you discover. And despite the maths, the language is very important.

As for the lessons learned, make your own mind up.  I learned something but I’ll keep that to myself.