A Concept from Quantum Physics Can Improve Your Operations | DataDrivenInvestor

Cynthia Wylie
5 min readMar 16, 2023

Best Use: Improving efficiency of processes

If you are stumbling down a dark alley and see a guy about to kill another guy, and that perpetrator sees you observing him, do you think he will abort his planned murder and run away? Chances are he will. Or maybe he’ll murder two people instead of just one. That is an example of the observer effect. Or as I like to say, seeing is changing.

The observer effect is one of those mysterious, quantum-based, difficult to grasp principles of quantum physics and human behavior that states, observing a situation or occurrence changes it. It can be used by management to improve efficiencies of their step-by-step processes.

It starts with the idea that matter can exist as either a particle or a wave. A particle is generally described as fixed in time and place. A wave is not fixed; it’s fluid and has many possibilities. Think of a particle like a marble. And think of a wave like a piece of rope that you are flinging. It is moving up and down and at any moment parts of the rope can be up and parts can be down all at the same time. It is fluid. But a marble, at any point in time, is only in one place. The moment you observe a point on the rope, it becomes a marble.

Without going into the physics experiment that has proved the observer effect, one that has been repeated many times and in many ways, I’m going to jump ahead to explain how you can use this principle. It works for service as well as manufacturing businesses.

The first step in using the observer effect is to figure out what you want to observe.

Start with collecting information

Information collection can be the single most powerful tool to change anything. Want to get your financial life into shape? Measure everything you spend your money on. Want to lose ten pounds? Measure everything you eat and how much exercise you get. And here’s the really powerful thing: simply observing, collecting data and measuring things can change their outcome.

If you log everything you eat, you will probably eat less. When you track your calories, you can see in the moment that you are eating…



Cynthia Wylie

Founder of Bloomers Island. Published children’s book author at PRH. Writes about big kid’s stuff like economics & business, too. TheProjectConsultant.com.