Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
A few weeks ago I was at the presentation of the beautiful collection of poems, Entropía de Voces by Milagrosa Díaz Gálvez. I love the meaning that Mila gives to the word in Spanish “entropía“, entropy as: the concept of chaos or disorder that seeks to reconcile apparently disparate thoughts, Space of voices that is fed back from inside out and vice-versa, and reconciles dissimilar concerns, because life is confusing. Using these meanings for the term, I have decided write about my personal thoughts about the business world, personnel management and entropy.
Originally the concept of entropy appeared as a word coined from the Greek em (en-en, on, near) and sqopg (move, turn, alternative, change, evolution). Entrophy arose in the field of physics, but nowadays it is applicable to a great many other areas, like information or the economy. In its broadest interpretation, it establishes that in each instant the Universe becomes more disorganized, causing a general, unavoidable deterioration towards chaos.
I don’t believe in entrophy to mean that everything becomes irreversibly worse. However, I do believe in the need to coordinate heterogeneous thoughts that affect the company and how we understand the function of HR.
Chaos as the first step towards order
There are systems in which entrophy is not directly proportional to the disorder, rather to the order, as may be the case in organizations. Entropy can lead to the creation of a new order. As Einstein said, all order is the first step towards a new chaos.
The crisis doesn’t have to be something bad that happens to companies, because if it is managed well it can be the path towards progress. Creativity arises from imbalance and it is in times of crisis when the best ideas emerge.
The need of a new business culture
Technology evolves, society transforms, people adapt, the world diversifies, and organizations must innovate. Everything changes and in the change, we need to find a new balance. This balance requires time, effort, and an alteration in the business culture.
Change will not be easy nor ordered, but it will be satisfying. Because an organization cannot grow if it does not leave its comfort zone. Chaos is necessary. A chaos that questions the rules that were once valid, the economic principles we have once followed and the policies of Human Resources that have managed personnel for centuries.
No organization is safe from the entropic process we are experiencing and that will bring us towards a new balance. We are faced with an irreversible process.
We will reach a better, different situation, but we will only do so by being a transformed, adapted company.
Taking risks and leaving the comfort zone to evolve
The labor market, the business network, the economy, and companies are currently experiencing an invariable process that seeks a new balance. I’m talking of a new order from the disorder. Of breaking away from the practices we have known “our whole life” in order to take risks, to encourage tolerance of failure in order to evolve, and to “learn to learn” in a disruptive manner.
The companies feel a drive to reproduce a previous status, to repeat what was valid in a previous social, economic and political situation. A determination to want to do things like before. But good leadership and proper personnel management has the obligation to fight against this force.
Entropy always grows; it is inevitable and it always surrounds us. Disorder happens in daily life at any moment, but is this chaos bad? Not at all. I find it to be even beautiful, for the pleasant feeling when you find harmony within the chaos.
The level of uncertainty generated is positive; there are no longer any clear or structured responses, because we are dealing with new problems that we cannot predict. Now we have to work in order to be prepared for future changes, generate flexible organizations, be aware of the organizational entropy, revive adaptable professionals, and achieve a new leadership. And in that process, the role of Human Resources and the new communication and knowledge flow tools in companies are fundamental in order for that chaos to be understood and have meaning.
Is your company prepared to face the disorder necessary for change?
Sonia Rodríguez Muriel (@sonia_rmuriel) is passionate about Human Resources. She is HR and Media Director at the Andalusian Agency for Innovation and Development, IDEA, and writes a personal blog which we at Zyncro highly recommend you read.