Developing Growth: Concentrating Energy and Escaping Entropy

Concentrated energy is a term used to describe the process of focusing energy and resources in a particular area or industry. In business, we can think of it as a way to overcome the more natural state of, well, unconcentrated energy—the default state of reacting, firefighting and often general chaos. Concentrated energy can create a powerful competitive advantage and foster organizational growth. 

One way to concentrate energy is to systematize focus. At Amtech, we do this through our core values and company culture, which give us a lens through which to make smarter, better decisions. By focusing their energy on core values, companies can create an environment encouraging innovation and productivity and to implement practical strategies for growth, such as systems for focus, motivation techniques, and planning for success.

Focusing on Core Values

Core values are the fundamental beliefs and principles that define a company’s culture and guide its actions. Core values may include customer service, quality, innovation, reliability, and efficiency. By focusing their energy and resources on these core values, companies can develop checkpoints. Instead of chasing shiny objects, they can use core values as criteria to proceed or stop. Does this align with what we stand for? It really can be that simple.

For example, at Amtech, our core values help guide operations. These core values include a commitment to quality and a focus on customer satisfaction. By focusing on these core values, we encourage communication and ultimately innovation. By living our core values, we eliminate obstacles to our growth like making the wrong hire or pursuing ideas that might ultimately distract us. Instead of constantly gut-checking or operating strictly on hunches, we can complement, and sometimes counter, that energy with a more established criteria.

Implementing Company Culture

Like in any industry, company culture is an important aspect of growth in electronics manufacturing. Companies can use concentrated energy to develop a strong company culture that benefits employees and customers.

Amtech has developed a strong company culture by implementing ideas to improve employee engagement, teamwork, communication, and accountability as well as customer relationships and satisfaction. These initiatives help to create an environment that is both productive and enjoyable to work in and work with.

Growth as a company comes from growth as individuals. When organizations can think strategically about becoming a place where individuals can grow, the company benefits. Success leaves crumbs, the adage goes. At Amtech, the seemingly small decisions we might make help lead to a larger impact.

Practical Strategies for Growth

Concentrated energy is a way to approach creating systems for focus, motivation techniques, and plans for success. 

For example, companies can create systems for focus by setting short-term and long-term goals. These goals can measure progress and ensure efforts focus on the right areas. Motivation techniques, such as incentives and rewards, encourage productivity and engagement. Finally, planning for success can be a strategy to ensure that their efforts are aligned with their goals. Often organizations assume growth will happen or success will just come to them. And sometimes, they’re right! But if growth isn’t planned for, if success is accidental, you’ll have no way to understand and repeat what worked and no way to learn from mistakes. Worse, accidental growth can suddenly spur organizational change that isn’t sustainable. If instead, you’ve “practiced” for growth with intentional decisions and refined processes, you’re more prepared for whatever might come.

Escaping Entropy: Overcoming Chaos

Entropy, in a business context, can be understood metaphorically, drawing from its origin in thermodynamics and information theory. At its core, entropy refers to a measure of disorder or randomness.

In a business context, entropy can signify:

  1. Decay of Organizational Structure: Just as a physical system may naturally tend towards a state of maximum disorder, a business might experience increasing internal chaos, with processes, roles, and strategies becoming unclear or ineffective over time.
  2. Loss of Clear Communication: Information entropy can lead to misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or information overload, where the essential messages become lost amidst noise.
  3. Deterioration of Process and Efficiency: As organizations grow or change, systems and processes might not be updated or streamlined, leading to inefficiencies and redundancies.
  4. Cultural Drift: A strong organizational culture may degrade over time, with core values and behaviors becoming less pronounced or even contradictory.

A key consideration for any of us in business is: entropy is the default state. If we make no plans, put no actions in motion or systems into practice, we should expect chaos. Leaders must understand this and create counter-environments where issues like entropy are minimized. This brings us back to intentional, purposeful approaches to growth. Periodic reviews, strategic planning, continuous improvement initiatives, and investment in leadership and communication training are all examples of systematizing growth. The key is to recognize the signs of increasing disorder early and to take proactive steps to reintroduce clarity, purpose, and efficiency.

Coming Into Focus

The power of concentrated energy can be a powerful tool for growth. By focusing on core values and developing a strong company culture, companies can create an environment encouraging innovation and productivity. Furthermore, companies can use concentrated energy to implement practical strategies for growth, such as systems for focus, motivation techniques, and planning for success. Avoiding the natural state of chaos takes effort and purposeful action, but the rewards include happier employees and customers and healthier growth.

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