It’s time I made entropy my friend instead of treating it as my enemy.

For much of my career as a coach and author, I’ve preached the gospel of integration over entropy. Drawing on the first and second laws of thermodynamics, I’ve often illustrated entropy as the villain and integration with the environment as the hero. In my book, Organizational Physics: The Science of Growing a Business and the Universal Success Formula, I show how Integration over Entropy is the ultimate barometer of success and happiness. My intention was clear: to teach leaders how to identify energy drains—symptoms of entropy—so they could plug those drains, creating more capacity for integration, innovation, and positive outcomes.

However, upon deeper reflection, I realize I’ve been caught in a dualistic trap. I’ve categorized energy gains like Love, Flow, Success, Harmony, Growth, and Development as positive, and energy drains like Fear, Discord, Inefficiency, Corruption, and Disintegration as negative. As a systems thinker, I pride myself on recognizing that most situations involve managing polarities and trade-offs, rather than solving black-and-white problems. Yet, in this instance, I missed the mark.

Embracing Entropy as a Positive Force

It’s time for me to put entropy in its proper place as a positive force for change. In the physical world, all systems eventually succumb to entropy. Death, decay, and disintegration are natural parts of the lifecycle. Without death, there would be no room for new life to emerge. Old systems give way to the new, creating opportunities for progress and renewal.
Consider the natural world: a forest fire, while destructive, clears the way for new growth. Similarly, in our lives and organizations, entropy points the way to “problems,” which in turn are opportunities for improvement. Everything is interconnected. When we view destruction as inherently bad, we resist it and miss the opportunity for true progress. Entropy, then, can be our ally.

The Duality Trap

In my teachings, I have often focused on energy gains as positive forces and energy drains as negative. However, this perspective oversimplifies the complexity of reality. We need darkness to appreciate light, rest to counterbalance activity, and decomposition to fertilize new growth. By resisting entropy and clinging to the status quo, we prevent the necessary cycles of destruction and creation that drive evolution and innovation.

The Pulse of Change

In a recent LinkedIn poll, I asked: “Do you agree? We need to rebuild all major US systems from the ground up.” An overwhelming 81% said yes, and fast. This response highlights a collective sense of urgency and a recognition that our current systems are failing. The feeling that things are falling apart rapidly—an experience of entropy—is unsettling but also ripe with potential.

When systems break down, they reveal their weaknesses, making space for better, more resilient systems to emerge. This cycle of entropy and renewal is a fundamental aspect of life. To harness it, we must learn to think in systems and manage trade-offs.

Thinking in Systems and Trade-Offs

In this next era, I believe that the most adept leaders will be those who have learned to think in systems and manage trade-offs, rather than trying to solve problems in isolation. Every action has ripple effects, and every solution involves compromises. By adopting a systems view,, we can better understand and manage the dynamic interplay between integration and entropy.

For instance, in organizational leadership, recognizing the value of entropy means acknowledging that inefficiencies and failures are not just obstacles to be removed, but signals pointing us toward areas ripe for innovation and improvement. This mindset shift allows us to see the breakdown of old systems not as catastrophes, but as natural and necessary steps in the process of growth.

A Call to Action

So, what does this mean for you as a leader, a professional, or an individual? It means embracing entropy as a friend and ally. When you encounter fear, discord, inefficiency, or disintegration, don’t just seek to eliminate these “negatives.” Instead, use them as guides. What are these forces telling you about what needs to change? How can you harness their energy to create something better?

Letting go of the old with grace and putting your energy into the new is the way forward. This approach requires courage, flexibility, and a willingness to see beyond immediate discomfort to the broader cycles of transformation at play.


Entropy, when viewed through a narrow lens, can seem like a force of destruction and loss. But when we broaden our perspective, we see it for what it truly is: a vital part of the cycle of life and growth. By embracing entropy, we open ourselves to the possibilities of renewal and innovation. We learn to think in systems, manage trade-offs, and recognize that every end is also a beginning.

In this light, entropy is not something to be feared or resisted, but something to be welcomed. It is a reminder that everything is interconnected, and that change, no matter how unsettling, is the pathway to progress and evolution. Let us move forward with this understanding, recognizing the “destructive” force of entropy as the creative force of life.