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“Black Holes,” Gravity and Management, What do they have in Common?

October 27th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Black Holes, Einstein and Management. I am not sure that I would have use them in the same sentance before this morning. I was in a sleepy haze listening to NPR’s Morning Edition when Krulwich on Science’s commentary “A Light Take On The Gravity-Time Relationship”. It is a physics issue. But Brian Green, theoretical physicist, appearently makes physics principles understandable with story telling. This story is “Icarus at the Edge of Time” by Greene, and it is based on Einstein’s theory that gravity and time are relational. The more gravity, the slower time moves and the less gravity, the faster time moves. Here is the link if you want to here the story: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96095009.

Appearently Black Holes have a lot of gravity, more than we have on earth. There is more gravity here on Earth than there is out in space. In the story, the boy, Icarus, gets in his pod, leaves the space ship and ventures out to the black hole. The father, cautions him to come back to the ship. Icarus isn’t interested. He switches off the communicator just before his father tells him that gravity effects time. He goes and explores the edges of the black hole. Meanwhile, Dad is watching him with binocculars. He sees his son’s  m o  v  e   m    e     n     t       s       s       l        o         w           d           o              w             n               ! 

Everything becomes slow motion. Now for Icarus, he experiences the regular march of time. He is not aware that time has slowed down for him in the pod but not for Dad in the ship. Icarus pokes around for several hours and then heads back to the ship. He is feeling rather smug that he figured out to visit and survive the black hole, only to discover there is no Dad and no ship. Icarus had a several hour experience in the heavy gravity of the black hole. However, Dad had a 10,000 year experience in the lighter gravity of space. Hmmmm. Hate when that happens.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with management. I have been in nursing for several decades (not telling how many). Most of this time, I have been in the trenches, that would be at the bedside or front line in the home. I would equate the “trenches” with “Black Holes” as far as the gravity/time continum goes. That would mean that management would expierience time as much faster and with increasing speed as one moves up the Ivory Tower.

Follow me for a minute. (Would that be the slow mo trench minute or the blink in the Ivory Tower?) I will speak from my experience as a nurse. Though, I can’t imagine others have a vastly different experienc. In the trenches, there are problems, challanges, issues of all sorts. I don’t have a “my people will talk with your people”. I am “IT”. There are phone calls, follow up phone calls, documentation, patient/family questions, problems, fears, print jobs that don’t print, assignments get changed, meetings, more documentation and…. you get my point. I can spend 3 hours in the office, setting up my assignment for the day. I am not twiddling my thumbs or eating bonbons. I can be in a home, handling several issues, teaching, documenting, only to realize that I have been there for 2 hours. To management, I must be in sl o  w    m   o    t      i      o       n        !

I look at my managers and they are doing this project, that committee, this research, that task. Twit Twit, they have all this stuff accomplished. They seem to leave on  time than I do (not that I am counting).

So… The MaryPat Theory on the Work-Time Continum or at least a coralary to the Einstein’s Theory. The closer one is to the trenches, the slower time moves. It will be the regular “tick tock” that the trench worker experiences. We will be in slow motion to the manager. To us, the manager in the lofty Ivory Tower is moving much faster and will actually look frantic. For the manager’s part, he/she will experience a regular “tick tock”, just at a much faster rate. Does that mean managers age faster?  Hmmmm

Managers need to be aware of this difference.  I think that I will include this theory on my next evaluation! (ah, perhaps not.)  And on that note, I will just check in on my 3 Ten Minute Mood Lifters to help me to decrease the stress of the slow trench/time experience.

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