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My name is Drew Weilage. I work with healthcare administrators to make work matter.

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Entropy, or why there is always more work to do

Entropy is a useful mental model for understanding why there’s always more work to do.

Entropy happens to everything: sand castles, friendships, abandoned buildings, your team meeting, a project that won’t seem to launch … Entropy is the process of natural systems losing order and falling apart.

It’s our effort—our work—that in many instances, but not all, pushes back and overcomes entropy to maintain order.

Yet entropy never stops. The rate of decline in a natural system never decreases. And the effort required to overcome entropy—again, the work we do—must at least match the system’s rate of decline.

In other words, every natural system in your organization (of which there are many) requires management, in the broadest definition of the term. That’s the work we do. That’s the work other people do.

So the consideration should be: Is this (new program, existing process, etc.) a good use of the limited management resources any of us have available (time, energy, motivation, etc.)?

And for those in positions that create work for others to do: Will this be considered valuable by the people required to manage it?

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