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Sloan and the Quantum Effect

September 17, 2011

I am a different man.

I did not expect change to come so quickly or so drastically. I rather expected it to creep in little by little after each lesson, each homework, each project, day by day and in barely discernible quantity, but that has not been the experience. The outcome of the first day at Sloan demonstrated a quantum change of sufficient magnitude that its description is simply not credible.

The fundamental concept of quantum theory is that if we look closely enough at the building blocks of the Universe, we find that matter is not organized in a smooth, continuous fashion, but rather in very discrete “chunks”. Change at this very fine level of detail occurs in leaps, from one quantum state to another.

I walked into the Sloan School of Management one man this morning and emerged a different man this evening. Sloan has harnessed the quantum effect and I have experienced it.

I asked some of the members of my cohort whether they felt similarly, and I found that I was not alone. Some reported that they noted this change from the moment of their acceptance into the program. I certainly experienced a small quantum change upon acceptance, but the experience today was enormously larger. But how could there really be a change? I certainly have no new management skills. I have yet to really do anything at all. I simply met, listed to, and exchanged stories with a few dozen people throughout the day.

The quantum effect began with the acceptance that I am now part of MIT. At Sloan they are very clear and purposeful in delivering a consistent message. You are now part of an enormous heritage. As the Buddhists might say, you now sit in the “line of transmission” of an Ultimate Truth. The acceptance of that connection is an enormously powerful agent of change. Realization occurs in an instant and self-identity moves to a new quantum level. I am a different man.

Acceptance creates a new relationship with the world, not because the world has changed, but because I have. In that quantum change I found that I likely have, lying somewhere within me, dormant and untapped capacity to create positive change. Realization occurs in an instant, self-identity moves to a new quantum. I am a different man.

Acceptance creates a new relationship with this community. I am no longer me, I am part of a larger we at MIT. Problems that I could not overcome myself, I will overcome by acting in concert with this community. There is within this community, lying dormant and untapped, an astoundingly large capacity to create positive change. I can be an agent to direct and unleash that capacity. Realization occurs in an instant, self-identity moves to yet another quantum. I am a different man.

I came to Sloan today and experienced the quantum effect.

I am a  better man.

-R.

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