Sunday, January 23, 2011

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

“In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle states by precise inequalities that certain pairs of physical properties, such as position and momentum, cannot be simultaneously known to arbitrarily high precision. That is, the more precisely one property is measured, the less precisely the other can be measured.”
I first starting web searching this topic today because there was reference to it in the New York Times. The way the author there described the principle seemed to be relatable to our leadership topic. So what did I learn? First, look up information you read to see if it is true. Second, quantum mechanics is very interesting and complex.
What does it have to do leadership? Simply that we all balance priorities, resources, effort and attention. While the quantum folks are balancing position and momentum measurement accuracy, we tend to balance quality and speed. In past posts (“Understanding the blind spots”), I’ve shared the decision model for leaders that has urgency on the Y axis and importance on the X axis. Simple guidelines like this can help leaders focus.
Hopefully none of you are professionals of quantum physics and able to tell how much I butchered Mr. Heisenberg’s work.
What tools or guidelines do you use to prioritize your time and focus?

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