No, this is not a blog on science. Although, using the concept of dark matter as a metaphor to think differently about what we know but cannot explain in our organization can be useful. What exactly is dark matter? We have theories, not a deep understanding. Astrophysicists know there is a massive amount of unseen energy and matter in the universe that affects how it unfolds, and they continue to search for deeper understanding. So, what is the connection between dark matter and the organization? Like the universe, there is a large amount of unseen energy and matter in an organization. How an organization harnesses this energy will influence how the future unfolds. Let’s examine three of these unseen forces.
Culture: An elusive force in the organization that we know is there, yet is difficult to grasp. Culture is the beliefs, behaviors, and assumptions that are shared by the organization and acquired over time. Culture is the glue that provides organizational members a group identity.
Innovation: It’s about survival. If yesterday is unchangeable and tomorrow unknowable, it is imperative that we try to understand the key elements required to ignite innovation and, more importantly, creativity. Innovation and creativity weave flexibility into the organizational fabric.
Resilience: That unseen reservoir of resources that we rely on to propel the organization. What useful energy is available in the organization to implement transformational initiatives, and still retain reserves for the unknown unknowns that we know are coming?
As gifted physicist, Ludwig Boltzmann, stated, [Nature] may be a difficult problem, but not a mystery.” That perspective is also applicable to understanding and leading transformational change. With broadly skilled and experienced capability; culture, innovation, and resilience may be a difficult problem, but not a mystery.
If interested, NASA has more to say on Dark Energy, Dark Matter.