The Art of Quantum Planning

Lessons from Quantum Physics for Breakthrough Strategy, Innovation, and Leadership

Gerald Harris (Author)

Publication date: 08/01/2009

The Art of Quantum Planning

Gerald Harris takes concepts from the scientic study of tiny particles and applies them in the larger world, helping readers reach a more profound understanding of how to create successful strategies.

Demonstrates how seven concepts from quantum physics can inspire new solutions to strategic planning problems

Offers real-world examples of these ideas in action in a wide range of settings

Includes exercises and detailed practical advice for applying these ideas in your organization

Planning today is plagued by a lack of imagination. It’s often difficult, when working with a business, organization, or any group of people, to upend traditional thinking and unlock new ideas and new possibilities. If you are a strategic planner, or anyone charged with managing growth or facilitating change, it is important to add to your arsenal tools that will allow you to break unhealthy groupthink, avoid old patterns, and escape narrow safe zones. In The Art of Quantum Planning Gerald Harris takes seven concepts from the scientific study of tiny particles and applies them in the larger world, showing how they can pry open minds, spur creativity, and make the planning process far more innovative and effective.

The dual nature of light—it can be both a wave and a particle—serves as a jumping-off point for a discussion of how either-or thinking can limit our sense of what options are open to us. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which says we cannot know both the position and the speed of an electron, reminds us that it is impossible to be aware of every variable, and so planning must be a learning process that continually incorporates new information and makes adjustments. Harris explains quantum concepts in layman’s language and, using real-world examples, gives practical advice on applying the ideas in actual planning situations—including improving techniques for scenario analyses that help managers function in an uncertain business environment.

This approach demands an open mind and a willingness to venture into unexplored territory—also keys for effective leadership. Using the lessons provided as triggers for thinking The Art of Quantum Planning will help readers to a more profound understanding of how to create successful strategies.

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Overview

Gerald Harris takes concepts from the scientic study of tiny particles and applies them in the larger world, helping readers reach a more profound understanding of how to create successful strategies.

Demonstrates how seven concepts from quantum physics can inspire new solutions to strategic planning problems

Offers real-world examples of these ideas in action in a wide range of settings

Includes exercises and detailed practical advice for applying these ideas in your organization

Planning today is plagued by a lack of imagination. It’s often difficult, when working with a business, organization, or any group of people, to upend traditional thinking and unlock new ideas and new possibilities. If you are a strategic planner, or anyone charged with managing growth or facilitating change, it is important to add to your arsenal tools that will allow you to break unhealthy groupthink, avoid old patterns, and escape narrow safe zones. In The Art of Quantum Planning Gerald Harris takes seven concepts from the scientific study of tiny particles and applies them in the larger world, showing how they can pry open minds, spur creativity, and make the planning process far more innovative and effective.

The dual nature of light—it can be both a wave and a particle—serves as a jumping-off point for a discussion of how either-or thinking can limit our sense of what options are open to us. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which says we cannot know both the position and the speed of an electron, reminds us that it is impossible to be aware of every variable, and so planning must be a learning process that continually incorporates new information and makes adjustments. Harris explains quantum concepts in layman’s language and, using real-world examples, gives practical advice on applying the ideas in actual planning situations—including improving techniques for scenario analyses that help managers function in an uncertain business environment.

This approach demands an open mind and a willingness to venture into unexplored territory—also keys for effective leadership. Using the lessons provided as triggers for thinking The Art of Quantum Planning will help readers to a more profound understanding of how to create successful strategies.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Gerald Harris

 Gerald Harris-Quantum Planning Group

Summary Professional Bio—January 2015

Gerald Harris is the president of the Quantum Planning Group, which he founded in 2010. His company specializes in assisting businesses and non-profit organizations in a wide range of strategic planning tasks including: scenario development, focused research and analysis, leadership team facilitation and writing planning documents.  He is an expert in helping teams and organizations manage risk and uncertainty using tools of economic analysis and scenarios to move from strategy formulation to implementation plans.

 

Most recently Gerald has been the lead consultant on a multi-year scenario analysis project for the Western Electric Coordinating Council (WECC).  WECC is responsible for electric reliability and electric transmission planning for the Western Interconnection of the United States.  From 2011through 2014, Gerald led a team of six consultants in providing scenario analysis for the Scenario Planning Steering Group (SPSG) created by WECC.  The SPSG was composed of over 20 representatives from the electric power industry, private transmission and generation companies, related NGOs and energy industry regulators.  

From 1993 to 2008 Gerald served as a senior consultant with Global Business Network (GBN) where he became an expert in scenario analysis.   GBN merged with the Monitor Group which is now a part of Deloitte Consulting.  While with GBN, Gerald worked with a wide range of organizations in the business community and non-profit sector applying the tools of scenario analysis.  He was a lead consultant for many of GBN's electric utility industry scenario projects and is a published expert in this area. A partial list of organizations Gerald has led scenario development projects includes the following: Kennecott Utah Copper, Chevron, Iberdrola (Spain), Vattenfall (Sweden), Pertamina (Indonesia), TXU (Texas Utilities), Monsanto, Xstrata, BHP Petroleum (Australia),The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Energy Commission, and the Electric Power Research Institute.

Gerald’s work outside the corporate sector has included working with non-governmental organizations in community development, regionalism, environmental policy, and public education.   A partial list of organizations he has worked with include: The Schott Foundation for Public Education, the Public Education Network, The Nature Conservancy, The Chicago Urban League, The MacArthur Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Prior to joining GBN, Gerald spent 13 years at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, northern California's largest utility. As director of business planning for the engineering and construction division, he was responsible for providing strategic and business planning services to a 4700-person business unit.   He started at PG&E in the Corporate Finance Department where he specialized in project and asset based financing. Before joining PG&E, Gerald was a financial analyst in the international project finance group at Bechtel Corporation.

Gerald received a BA in economics from Morehouse College, where he graduated magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a MBA in finance and business economics from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.   Gerald is an especially skilled facilitator, having trained with Interaction Associates, and based on his international experience and work across a wide range of industries and issues.

Gerald is the author of, The Art of Quantum Planning, Seven Ideas from Quantum Physics for Breakthroughs in Creativity, Innovation and Leadership, which was published by Berrett-Koehler Publishing in August, 2009.  In June, 2013 his article, “A continuous-learning process that updates and enhances planning scenarios,” was published in Strategy & Leadership (and Emerald Insight publication).  In December, 2014 Strategy & Leadership published his article, “Four Blind Alleys of Scenario Analysis.” 

Gerald has been an active volunteer serving as a Board member or Trustee for several organizations.  He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Hoffman Institute Foundation (Hoffmaninstitute.org).  He also currently serves as the Chair of the Science and Technology member-led –forums group for the Commonwealth Club of California (headquartered in San Francisco, CA). Gerald is a single father with two adult sons.  He lives in San Francisco, CA.

Further information about Gerald and the Quantum Planning Group can be found at www.artofquantumplanning.com.

 

 

 

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Table of Contents



Foreword

Introduction: Planning, Thinking, and Learning

Chapter 1: Learning-Oriented Planning

Chapter 2: From Quantum Physics to Quantum Thinking and Planning

Chapter 3: Thinking Beyond Duality

Chapter 4: Inescapable Uncertainty

Chapter 5: Intentions, Actions, and Reality

Chapter 6: The Illusion of Time and Space (Things and Order)

Chapter 7: Many Worlds: Catalytic and Kaleidoscopic Thinking

Chapter 8: Thinking and Planning in the Field of All Possibilites

Chapter 9: Organizations as Energy Systems

Chapter 10: Personal Growth and Quantum Thinking and Planning

Conclusion: Change, Creativity, and Innovation

Resource: Scenario Analysis and Applying Quantum Planning

Bibliography
About the Author
Index

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Endorsements

“A unique, valuable, and practical guide to the kind of planning that leads to successful organizational breakthroughs.”
—Mitch Kapor, founder, Lotus Development Corporation

"One after another, Harris frames the challenges facing the strategic planner and then provides helpful and practical ways of addressing them with the tools of quantum thinking. This is perhaps only the beginning of a dialog with these ideas."
—from the foreword by Peter Schwartz, futurist and author of The Art of the Long View

“When most people think of strategic planning, they think of boring one- or two-day meetings. Thankfully, we now have a bold, innovative way to direct organizations into continuous, ‘out-of-the-box' learning and planning. Harris eloquently breaks down the concepts from quantum physics and applies them to organizations in a way that is useful and understandable.”
—Christopher Morris, Manager of Communications and Web Resources, CUNA Councils

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