Newton’s law and success.

Newton’s First Law of motion states that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

We easily observe this phenomenon of motion, rest and force in the physical world all the time: kicking a ball, jumping on a trampoline, riding a bike or seeing an apple falling from a tree. 

But what if we applied it to success.  More specifically, what if we looked at these factors of the First Law from the viewpoint of success creation.

First off, we could liken the motion in Newton Laws to the many motions in business: picking up the phone to contact a new client, executing a contract, manufacturing a product, ordering materials, collecting a receivable, paying bills, advertising, executing a marketing campaign, sending out promotional materials, presenting your company at a business conference, posting to social media. 

So let’s say that the above actions are occurring with a degree of frequency or at a rate of speed:  making so many calls to contact new clients each day, signing a certain number of contracts per month, manufacturing x number of products per day, ordering so many units of raw materials per week and so on.  

The above actions then culminate into meaningful measurements or metrics that pretty much all businesses monitor – sales, expenses, cash flow, net income, assets, liabilities, etc.  Basic income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement data.

At an agreed upon time frame, management will typically review the numbers, the metrics, the financial statements to get a picture of how the business is doing.  Typically, there is some level of performance that they are expecting and if those are met, you keep moving forward, but if the performance is not where it needs to be then plans are usually devised to change the scene.

Back to the First Law.  What is an “unbalanced force”?

Unbalanced forces are the things that make an object deviate from their current state of motion. 

Here’s a simple example: Imagine a book lying at rest on top of a table. With this scenario, the force of gravity is pushing down on the book while at the same time, the table is exerting an upward force on the book of equal magnitude and opposite direction as gravity (this could be called the normal force). Because these forces are exactly equal and in opposite directions, they  cancel each other out and the book does not change its state of motion. Hence, the book is at equilibrium and the two equal and opposite forces are called balanced.

Now, imagine what happens if we suddenly remove the table. Once we remove the table, there is no longer any upward force acting on the book. So, the force of gravity takes over and causes the book to accelerate towards the ground. In this situation, the forces are considered unbalanced.

Using this example, let’s say the book is the business itself and the table is the plans, strategies, quotas, budgets – essentially the table is what the stakeholders are trying to create with the business in terms of the level of production, success or income that they want to bring about.  In other words, they each have an idea of what is the acceptable level of performance for their business for them to deem that this business endeavor is worthwhile or working.

According to Forbes, 7 In 10 Americans Live Paycheck To Paycheck

7 out of 10 of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

18.4% of private sector businesses in the U.S. fail within the first year.

After five years, 49.7% have faltered

After 10 years, 65.5% of businesses have failed.

To continue with our analogy – the book is the business and the table is management’s plans and strategies; taking it further, these statistics are the results of the balance in forces between the book and table.  That being said, it stands to reason, this kind of balance needs to be gotten out of balance on an immediate basis.  To upset this balance, additional forces need to be applied in one direction to offset the balance and in this case, we are going to focus on management’s plans and strategies, aka the table.  

Let’s say for the sake of our example that we want to launch the book 10 feet in the air to a whole new level of production.  This would mean that management would have to create strategies and plans that bring about an increase in force.  No longer could the status quo be tolerated.  In other words, they’d need to create levels of production that go well beyond the current level.   

Maintaining the same speed, the same direction, the same level of production/success year after year will never serve an organization in the marketplace because there are always factors that are working against it – economic & financial policy, government interference, competition, etc.  

One must do whatever is necessary to bring unbalancing forces to the situation, to constantly work to obliterate the counter forces opposed to organizational success: calls to new clients must be increased each week, marketing efforts taken to new heights, way more contracts closed and in the books, manufacturing churning out products like never before, promotional materials flying off the presses and into the hands of future clients, social media campaigns like no one has ever witnessed before and employee morale that could win championships.

With this being done, future expansion will be yours and you’ll be assured with the guarantee that the organization will never become one of the aforementioned statistics.