Greetings. We should all take heart in the recent suggestion that Einstein might have been wrong. Not about everything, but about his assertion that nothing in the universe travels faster than light. It's an assertion that has been at the core of our understanding of physics and the world since 1905 when he came up with his theory of relativity. And it's withstood 106 years of the most intense probing and questioning. After all, a lot of people are skeptical of anyone who comes from another country and has a thick accent, very funny hair and an exceedingly large brain. Especially someone who is often regarded as one of the smartest people of all time. And, if he could be wrong, maybe it's okay for the rest of us to make an honest mistake now and then.
Not that he is wrong…
But now, a team of physicists in Switzerland using a slightly humongous particle generator contend that "neutrinos"–those adorable, electrically neutral subatomic particles of a very slight mass–are even faster than the speed of light. And just in case you forgot your high school physics facts, light moves at a mere 186,282 miles per second. Their research suggests that neutrinos are actually 60 billionths of a second faster. Which has prompted a wide range of reactions that include:
- "How dare they?!"
- "Get a life!"
- "I know really!"
- "Who gives a flying Walenda?"
- "They probably made a mistake…but since my super-collider is in the shop I'm not able to check their work."
In any event, the mere suggestion that Albert Einstein could be wrong provides powerful insight for all of us and our companies and organizations. Because the truth of the matter (note the physics "pun" here) is that all of us could be wrong at any time. And it's also possible for anyone to call our work into question at the drop of a hat–posting their thoughts, beliefs, rants and perspectives in a host of widely-viewed channels. So it is essential for us to continuously ask if we have the right strategy, or the right offerings, or the right business model, or the right relationships with our customers, partners and employees, or the right values, or the right technologies to make the most meaningful difference for those we serve.
And to answer those questions with a clear sense of commitment to doing the right thing.
We win in science, in business and in life when we always question the fundamental ideas on which we operate. And when we seek to confirm their value or figure out a better way.