Entropy Forces Organizations to Waste Energy on Alignment

In science, entropy describes how a system comprised of smaller components tends toward disorder. Organizations, too, can experience entropy. Weakly managed organizations, in particular, may find themselves internally at odds. This forces leaders and managers to spend excessive time and energy building alignment between people and teams even when conditions under which there is little change.

A related concept for organizations is inertia, which deals with how organizations optimize to maintain the status quo; external disorder and internal inertia can present significant risks for an organization.


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Rumelt, Richard. Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters. Illustrated edition. New York: Currency, 2011.