Business Purohit

Intangible to Tangible

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Physics of Management - 1


Systems Approach in Physics

While almost any scientific subject can be used to describe business, I would start with Thermal science because of its ability to simplify complexity, abstractness and empirical nature of the business.  For this, lets understand a few terminologies of thermal science:

·         State Property: Property is the same irrespective of the path taken by it. 

·     Energy in Transit

·     Internal Vs. External Energies/disturbances

Types of Systems

·         Adiabatic Systems: Heat doesn't cross the system {similar to companies working in "Closed business environment…}

·         Isothermal systems manage to have same temperature by managing heatflow across the system {similar to the ones operating in Managed economy…}

·         Isentropic systems: Both heat and temperatures are managed to keep the system equilibrium {Companies that are working in a chaotic market environment…}

Unpredictability due to various interdependent influencing factors such as {Similarities are obvious}:

·         Fluid, medium, pressure, temperature, volume, Cohesion/adhesion and portfolio of the mixture

·         Energy (Stabilizing/disturbing) sources (internal, flow, pressure, gravity, electromagnetics…)

·        Changing behaviours under different conditions (boiling, freezing, vapor, superheated vapors…).  Behaviours are dependent on their operating conditions {Business or people performance and behaviour isn't the same under all conditions}


·         Insulation behavior under diverse conditions (critical thickness, conduction/convection/radiation…, compatibility issues)

·         Porous borders 

{Competitive Advantage isn't easy to conserve without good technology and competency management systems; only thing that sustains forever is the company culture)

Entropy in an Organization:

Entropy of a system is a measure of disorder and can only increase, unless an additional & constant effort is made to keep it organized.  This can be done by:

a)      Controlled heat transfer between source & sink

b)      Reduced mean temperature

In the organization context, a) avoid noise disagreements; b) Jumping from task to task without completing it.

 Entropy, though appears like a path function (where results are dependent on the means to achieve it), could be treated as a state function and its value is dependent on energy of initial and final states irrespective of the path it took to get there.  Path, however determines the value of PVT in the end state.

With all complexities of business, business results (financials…) determine the entropy – only the end state that we consider may be an intermediate stage and this could be determined by looking at other influencing parameters such as temp, pressure, volume…{Competition, market demand, our own performance…) and energy conserved in the system (Cost management , opportunity creation, asset…}

These laws together help us define the type of system we would need in the organization and the kind of measures we need to protect the interests of the company.

Poisson's Effect

When you pull an elastic material, it is said to be in tension.  When an elastic material is subjected to tension, it not only elongates in the direction of the pull, but it also contracts in other direction and this phenomenon is called "Poisson's effect".   Any action has both intended and unintended consequences (lateral strain).  It is important to acknowledge these effects and put in countermeasures to manage these effects, when it is not possible to avoid it. 

It is lot easier to understand complexities of business through equations and we shall deal with it later.


Laws of physics also helps us to understand us on how managing intangibles to get tangible results.  That is for another blog.

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