Organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get.


- essay by David M. Boje, December 2015; revised Jan 23, 2016


Quantum Storytellling Consulting begins with listening to client's stories, then creating Theater for Social Change enterprises, such as Veterans Theater and the Sustainability Council at my university. It is a special kind of theater based on listening to the socioeconomic and material conditions, a listening to space, time, and mattering of our own thoughts, actions, and habits of unsustainability. Since these habits of thoughts, actions, and material ways of Being and space-time-mattering are quantum entangled and inseparable, its just called "spacetimemattering" (Boje, 2015; Henderson & Boje, 2014; Boje, 2014). Client's stories are spatialized, temporalized, and mattering in spacetimemattering. When we diagnosis storytelling organization (1991, 195, 2008), we arrive at Tamara-land Theater (Boje, 1995 print out the PDF version), where there are simultaneous multiple spacetimemattering sites of storytelling. We chase stories from room to room, floor to floor, building to building --- never able to experience them all at once.


Main points:

—Quantum Storytelling is about a breakdown in SOS (Sustainability Of Socioeconomic) order when an energy threshold is exceeded.
—When the socioeconomic systems exceed the quantum limit of median per capita energy use, then it becomes a downward spiraling UOS (Unsustainability Of Socioeconomic) order.
—Quantum Storytelling is us storying the ‘reality’ of the relationship between our energy consumption habits and social/economic order.


Important Definitions:

1.Quantum ---(noun) Smallest quantity of radiant energy that any system possesses to exist
2.Quanta --- Plural of quantum; quanta are waves & particles; matter & non-matter; mass & non-mass; here & there at same time; measurable & non-measurable
3.Quantus --- Latin for ‘how much?’
—4. Carbon Footprint --- Total greenhouse gases produced by human activities, expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).
—Natural CO2 cycleàCO2 gets re-absorbed by plants and trees
—5. FOOTPRINTS: The carbon footprint (CF) and ecological footprint (EF) of USA person are the highest in world. Average USA person’s carbon footprint is 20 tons carbon dioxide per year compared to 1.1 tons for average person in India.
—6. CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSION: 5% of the world’s population living in the USA contributes 20% of carbon dioxide emissions and consumes 30% of the world’s resources.


Summary: Quantum Storytelling has five main principles

1. Sow & Reap: “Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny” --- Frank Outlaw, Late President of the Bi-Lo Stores

2. System Design and Results: "All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get. To get better results, you need to improve the design of the organization” ---from Arthur Wayne Jones, cited in David P. Hanna (1988: 38; 2001: 19)

3. “Quantum is the Limit of the social order” --- (Ivan Illich, Energy & Equity essay). As the system results spiral downward, such as in the case of sustainability development being completely unsustainable, bureaucracy and bureaupathology set in, and what Henri Savall and colleagues, of which I am one, call the Taylorism-Fayolism-Weberism virus, a particularly resistant strain, begins to implement stanardizations externally imposed by every manner of standard setting body, association, from AACSB, FASB, to ISO, resulting in a dizzing confusion, and Unchangeability in the storytelling organization and with socio-economic order.

4. Harmony Does Not Always Bounce Back --- Eleanore Bregand (1987) patented design model (Harmony=Rhythm + Contrast with Emphasis in Balance) is called Verbal Vision Spatial Design Model, but when harmony can no longer bounce back, its a downward spiral into the abyss. As the illusion of sustainable development becomes an Unchangeable grand narrative of global and national cultures, hamony of humanity's enterprises to Mother earth goes out of harmony, the rhythms of industrial produced homes, foods, transport are producing contrasts that no emphasis can contain, and its all out of balance as population increases by a billion in shorter time horizons, until the inevitability of collapse into war, famine, and die off cuts the population down to something more in touch with carrying capacity.

5. Dialectic of Storytelling and Spirit --- Hegel. This is a process approach to dialectic, storytelling that sows and reaps Thought-Word-Action-Habit- Character in spacetimemattering to enact the Destiny we now live.

Next let's examine the quantum storytelling consulting principles more carefully.



“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny”

—Frank Outlaw, Late President of the Bi-Lo Stores

Often wrongly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, its from news article by Frank Outlaw in May 1977, and popular again by Steven Covey (quote investigator).

At Loyola Marymount I put it this way:

Sow a thought, reap a word

Sow a word, reap an action

Sow an action, reap a habit

Sow a habit, reap a character

Sow a habit, reap a destiny

Emerson put it this way

from The Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

I learned the principle of Sow and Reap when I first met Grace Ann Rosil. She was in a food line at a conference and I heard her say "I am only going to date vegetarians from now on..." I had a thought "I could be what she wants and decided to sow a thought (she likes vetetarians) and reap these words "I am a vegetarian! What's good here?" That meant I had to actually turn my words into actions, and really become vegetarian, and swear off meat. I watched my habits become a character, that became by destiny. We became Vegan, and started on a journey toward figuring out what had happened to sustainability: We sow unsustainability thoughts, words, actions, and habits to become unsustainable in our housing, food, transportation habits, which combined with everyone having such habits, reaps characters who alter the destiny of all species on earth.

Figure 1: Population is Growing by Billions in Foodways that exceed Earth's Carrying Capacity

When I met Grace Ann, I immediately became a vegetarian, and shortly after a vegan. We married, moved to New Mexico, and bought a Pirus.

Figure 2: Prius and Vegan Actions

Problem is is that most people on earth are not changing their thoughts, actions, habits of transportation and/or foodways, so the unsustainability of characters and the destiny of human, animal, plant, fish, and other species is in a downward spiral.

But, You could Try One Vegal Meal a Week...

Figure 3: Cowspiracy chart on what One Vegan Meal can do as Action

You Could Change your Motorized Transportation and Change your Diet, or be quite radical and ride a bicycle to work.

Figure 4: Which causes more Climate Change, Motorized Transportation or Cows? (from Cowspiracy).

—Every year we produce 34 billion tons C02
—14% is from motorized vehicles
—My car a Prius still has 1.77 CO2 tons a year
—If I bike to NMSU, its one less car on the road


Change your Diet, Change your CO2 Foodprint

Figure 5: What is CO2 from your Diet actions and habits?

The Truth and Nothing But, is Most People on the Planet are NOT changing thoughts, actions, or habits, and have unsustainable character and destiny.

Figure 6: Takes a lot of land, water, fetilizer, oil and other resources to have meat diets

Some facts:

"2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef." 

"A person who follows a vegan diet produces the equivalent of 50% less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th oil, 1/13th water, and 1/18th land compared to a meat-lover for their food.'  

--- For more see Cowspiracy Facts.

What if we just change the way we graze cattle differently?

"A number of hurdles obstruct the path of evolution toward more sustainable, peaceful food production systems. One such hurdle is the perpetuation of belief that sustainability can be achieved if we simply modify our current animal production systems" (Oppenlander, 2013)- See more

Allan Savory's Ted Talk, while quite popular, is according to Cowspiracy, misleading. Yes, we can graze cattle differently (or sheep), and this will reverse desertification, but it does not take away the root causes.

Desertification is actually caused by our choice of diet which leads to deforestation, which leads to desertificaiton. This is important to me, since Grace Ann and I moved to a desert in New Mexico that is getting more arid, year by year. Our shift was from grassland to semi-arid, now arid mesquite and greasewood bushes take over. In Brazilian Amazon its a different eco-disaster.

Figure 7 - Don't forget the Deforestation

REALIITY: We have thoughts, actions, and habits, that are leading our characters and planet to a downward spiral destiny. Unless we change our organizational designs, our individual food and transporation and housing ways...

This is the prediction of Club of Rome, a question on my 1977 Comprehensive Exam question, aobut the future of sustainability, and my answer fell short.

Figure 8: Club of Rome's 1970s Bet on the Future for 2100


We need to move along to the 2nd principle of Quantum Storytellling Consulting.


"All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get. To get better results, you need to improve the design of the organization”

---from Arthur Wayne Jones, cited in David P. Hanna (1988: 38; 2001: 19)

It is quite often misattributed to W. Edward Deming in management, or Paul Batalden in Health policy  (His YouTube is quite good).

What Deming did say:

"Problems are the fault of the system 96% of the time and individuals 4% of the time"

-- W. Edwards Deming

My Quantum Storytelling began by teaching asystems theory and a storytelling classes at UCLA in 1979, that become one course. It happened because some students like Stew Leonard Jr. (of Stew Leonard's Dairy) wanted to do one project in both classes, and Storytelling Systems projects came about where All organizations' systems are perfectly get the result they get from the storying they do to put thoughts into words, into actions, into habits, into characters, into their destiny. So to get different results, you need to change the storytelling. E.g. at Stew Leonard's stores, there is a storytelling meeting every morning, and managers actually read the stories told by customers, and then actually change their systems that day to get different results.


“Quantum is the Limit of the social order”

--- (Ivan Illich, Energy & Equity essay).

Quantum Storytelling application--- “Beyond a certain median per capita energy level, the political system and cultural context of any society must decay” (Ivan Illich, Energy & Equity essay).

I met Ivan Illich in Los Angeles while teaching systems storytelling to management students. He was guest of the philosophy department of Loyola Marymount University, and they said "bring your students to meet Ivan." So I sowed a thought: ' will birng my management students to the event." The thought led to words "students let's go to this!" And to an action 'leading the students to that room in philosophy department.' That meeting changed my sustainability habits, my character, and changed me onto a new destiny path that is still unfolding, here in New Mexico State University, where I am chairing Sustinability Council for 2nd time, finishing the 3rd year of a grant I received from the Provost and President, "Greening the Curriculum at NMSU."

“Once the critical quantum per capita energy is surpassed, education for the abstract goals of bureaucracy must supplant the legal guarantees of personal and concrete initiative. This quantum is the limit of social order” (Ivan Illich, Energy & Equity essay).


Learning Verbal Vision Spatial Design Model the Hard Way In 1987, after striking out at UCLA (no tenure), and my small business venture, Personnel for Printers, already failed and dissolved (1986-1988), and in the midst of divorce which would come about in 1994, I began to take a class that would change my life foreever. I took Eleanore Bregand's class in verbal visual spatial design. I went from being dismissed from UCLA (1979-1986) to becoming Teacher of the Year (6 times), and creating a tier-one article publication record at Loyola Marymount University (1988-1996), after which I relocated to New Mexico State University (1996-present), where just this week (Jan 2016) I received the highest faculty honor, the Regents Professorship. How did I turn around my thoughts, words, actions, habits, character, to create a change of destiny?

Eleanore K. Bregand (1987) taught me her patented Verbal vision spatial design model Patent number: 4645460. According to her patent, "A verbal vision system spatial design model comprises multiple blocks, and associated structure, spatially arranged, and sized, to represent qualities of a work of art." This is my rendition of it using circles instead of blocks:

Eleanore Bregand (1987 patented Verbal Vision Spatial Design Model

Figure 9: Adaption of Eleanore Bregand's (1986) patented Verbal Visual Spatial Design Model (Patent #4645460)

Bregand’s patented Design Formula: Harmony = Rhythm + Contrast with Emphasis in Balance (patent 464546 approved Feb 24, 1987). What I will do here is adapt Bregan's design formula (H=R+C w/E in B) to Storytelling Consulting.

Figure 10 - Adaptation of Bregand Design Model to Storytelling Consulting

I will make some connections, never done before, between Bregand's work on rhythm and that of Henri Lefebvre.


Elanore Bregand (1987) and Henri Lefebrvre (2004) put Rhythms at the center of their models. Our everyday life is a bundle of rhythms (Lefebvre, 2004). Our everyday life is the repetition of moments, rhythms that are only overturned by crisis and/or accident. In the blink of an eye, a linear rhythm can change, and a gateway to how the past and future keep colliding in eternal recurrence opens up to our noticing it (Lefebvre, 2004: x). Our everyday lives do have rhythms, and our body, and the universe are just a bundle of rhythms within rhythms.

Bregand taught me that Rhythm expresses repetitition and interval. My human body is repetition and interval of blood pumping and heart beat intervals, the in and out of my breathing repetition and interval, the intake of food and its exrement, my waking and sleeping rhythm and intervals, and so on. These are Nature's cyclic rhythms. On this point Bregand and Lefebvre agree. Lefebvre (2004: 9-10) calls Rhythm, the relation of repeitition and difference. Begand's 'interval' and Lefebvre's 'difference' do not mean the same thing.

They are also theorizing different things. Bregand is talking about 'art' and Lefebvre is critiquing the rhythm of late modern capitalism, how it incorporated a military rhythm into its production lines. Bregand is about a spatializing model, and Lefebvre is looking at rhythms of space, movements, and time. He is aware of Deleuze and Guattari (1987) spatializing and temporalizing model of movements. Bregand sees a way to harmonize art with Nature's design formula (H=R+C w/E in B). Lefebvre's focus is on how the Industrial Revolution has sought to conqure Nature, to make Nature's cyclical rhythm conform to a linear rhythm



By Quantum Storytelling I mean in spacetimemattering.

Summary: By Dialectic, I will start with Hegel's then fold in the critique by Adorno (Negative Dialectices) in the weeks ahead, and at the end of term, bring these into Quantum Storytelling. By Spirit, I don't mean religion, but rather, the Eco-spiritual where there are spirits not only of humans but as Hegel puts it 'Spirit of the Earth' (#160). Hegel however did not buy into Immanuel Kant's placement of Spirit in the beyond, in the after-world or in the Ascending to some heavenly plane. Rather Hegel put Spirit in what I am calling spacetimemattering. However, unlike Indigenous Ways of Knowing (IWOK), Hegel did not abide Spirit of the Earth, or spirits of all elements: air, earth, fire, water, and so on) but rather trapped Spirits into a duality of consciousness attempting by the Law of Heart (as he calls it) to bring about a unity of Spirit consciousness, as it actualizes in the material world.

What we must do next is tie the sow and reap and perfectly designed organizations to their actualized results of Disharmony of sustainability and unsustainability. There are two paths of Thoughts-Words-Actions-Habits-Character that becomes your Destiny; one is developing sustainability and the other developing unsustainability.  To do this we will look to Hegel’s dialectic.

Hope for sustainability has vanished in my Changeable living story life,  “being-for-self” (Hegel, #212) in the worlds of space, time, and mattering materiality, which are inseparable entanglement of spacetimemattering becoming more unsustainable, not less so in the Unchangeable grand narratives purporting sustainable development, but yielding no change Habits-Character-Destiny (Boje, 2015, Henderson & Boje, 2015).
There are three moments of premature self-reflection that keep the dialectic from developing as the Grand Narrative of Beyond dualizes from the Changeable Living Story individual living-for-self Consciousness that has conformed to its own opaque sensemaking and intellectual thought. By remaining in duality of living story being-for-self and the grand narrative of being-for-beyond the ground of hope does not actualize in ways to reconcile the duality.

The Unchangeable grand narrative of society enters into my consciousness thorough its storytelling and in the same spaces and times iI am affected by my individual living story individuality.  Narrative-for-beyond act to standardize my actions into habits of unchangeable consciousness (Thought-Word-Action-Habit) through all kinds of Standardization Institutions/Associations/Bodies that oppose then become my Character-Destiny).

As my Changeable living story-for-self (Thought-Word-Action-Habit) individuality comes to oppose the Unchangeable grand narratives (Thought-Word-Action-Habit) there are three moments:

First, my Changeable, contingent living story web appears opposed to the Unchangeable narrative-for-beyond, and I experience my sustainability as an alien being.

Second, I realize my Changeable living story individuality being-for-self belongs to the same Unchangeable grand narrative illusion that sustainability is progressively happening. I am still experiencing alienation, this time from the fantasy of sustainability that is popularized in the media, university, and business narratives.
Third I find my own Changeable contingent living story living-for-self as a particular individual who is living at the same spacetimemattering in the Unchangeable narrative of sustainability illusion that its happening. I am Spirit (Hegel, #210) aware of a need for reconciliation of my living story with the grand narratives of false sustainability, of which I am definitely complicit.
I am one consciousness dualized (split) into two. A Changeable living story consciousness of individuality in the web of experience that is a one-sided movement, and at the same spacetimemattering an Unchangeable grand narrative experience of one-sided movement (Hegel, #211). My divided self begins some dim awareness of this wretchedness that I am both/and, not either/or.

The heart-of-care to actualize sustainability remains utterly remote in the grip of Grand General narrative of Unchangeable consciousness that presumes sustainability is achieved by buying Starbuck’s coffee, recycling my trash, and drinking water from the refill stations. My Unhappy Consciousness (Hegel) is because of my own duality of consciousness.  I am divided between on the one hand, ‘Changeable living story’ contingent happening and, on the other hand, I am opposed by my obvious participation in Unchangeable General narrative internalized within the institutions, society, nation and world of spacetimemattering which I am answerable for my complicit Thoughts-Words-Actions-Habits-Character that becomes co-constructed Destiny of unsustainability.

In sum, my life is a contradictiory movement of Spirits, the IWOK Spirits opposed by the Spirit of Sustainability of Western cultures. Hegel deadened the earth mattering, downgrading his one reference to Spirit of the earth. In my attempts to enact sustainability at home and University, I am in struggle against an enemy sustainability that I sadly discover is, me. I try to vanish my other Spirit of Unchangeable grand narratives of sustainable development (that is an illusion of sustainable achievement). I suffer defeat in realizing my own living story being-for-self consciounsess SPirit, its esistence (Thinking-Words-Acts) has an activity (Habits) that is the opposite of Sustainability, my own nothingness in bringing about sustainability at home and in University. Raising myslef out of my own living story world, I go out of that consciousness over into the Unchangeable grand narratives of sustainability development (all illusions) only to realize I am that particular individual living their living story by Changeable contingency that is already assimilated into the Unchangeable grand narrative of shows of sustainability iwht no impact whatsoever on the expanding billions in population, the depletion of Mother earth resources, and the escallation of war, famine, homelessness, refugees, as we spiral downward into the abyss of destruction that by 2100 will cretainly result in our human species being downsized drastically and dramatically.

I display in my quantum storytellling a Notion of Spirit and Storytelling in duality. What has not become a living Spirit (IWOK), nor achieved an actual existence in a single unity of consciousness, I can at least gaze or glimpse at a wink afrom my Changeable contingent living story conscious divide into the Unchangeable grand narraitve of sustainability illusion of progress. I am still unaware that I am this unity of both a will to sustainability and a will to unsustainability. I have two Thoughts-Words-Actions-Habits-Characters-Destiny (T-W-A-H-C-D) in one body. One T-W-A-H-C- is living stories of my sustainability. Another T-W-A-H-C- is my own complicity in global and societal grand narratives of the illusion of sustainable development.

Thus my primordial life in in a contradictory mevement of living-for-self opposing living-for-others (not just human, but all species). Lodged in one self-conscious I am master (lord) and in the other consciousness I am slave (bondsman). This duality of "self-consciousness within itself" (Hegel, #206) is essentially what Hegel calls the "Notion of SPirit" in the unity of "Unhappy Consciousness" of dual-natured, contradictory being that is of course just the single consciousness atempting to become a "living Spirit: in actual existence (Hegel, #207).

Of course, its time to seek a Happy Consciousness, in the sustainablity-unsustainability duality of Unhappy Consciousness, yet I wonder why I should be happy with the runaway population and resource depletion of earth, wars, famines, homelessness that are everywhere increasing, while the industrial technology dream of peace and harmony for all remains illusion, forgotten dream. Meanwhile there is a "nullity of ethical princples" and a "nullity of seing" (Hegel, #205).

As you know Marx did not abide any Spirt and reduced Hegel's dialectic to class struggle as the one class was supposed to overthrow the other, which did not happen. But there is some hope in Adorno's amendments to them both, as well as the Kant's transcendental dialectics, but we will wait another day for that entry.

Next, I want to explore what is Quantum Storytelling Consulting, then more specifics on what is Quantum Storytelling. We are being governed by quantum principles that as Hegel might say is both bewilderin and bewildered.

How can we use Quantum Storytellling Consulting to change the Theater of Global Capitalism?

Simple. Apple the above Quantum Storytelling Principles. Move from the linear mechanical ways of organizing to harmonizing ourrole in Nature's cyclical, spiral, and assemblage ways of Being-in-the-world. This will give us a new balance between human enterprise and ecology. Step One: Learn to be Gangster Gardner!

Figure 11: A Painting of Boje's Antenarrative Storytelling Model on the Side of Ron Finely's Pool (photo by Boje, Dec 19 2015)

Ron Finley is the Gangster Gardner, and his son did a Graphitti Art Painting of my work. You can see the cyclical, assemblage, and spiral alternatives to the linear BME (Beginning, Middle, End). See Ron's Ted Talk, the Gangster Gardner

Ron was one of the featured speakers at the 2015 Big Story Conference, Dec 17-19, in Los Angeles. Ron says, "I planted a carrot in the Hood, and all hell broke loose!" They came to arrest him for violating city codes, about never ever planting food on city property.

I want to see Ron's Gangster Gardner on Dec 19th, and saw the art his son had created on the side of his pool. Its a pool full of plants and easy chairs, where around and in the pool, as many as 100 people assemble to hear Ron tell his stories. And there on the wall is my model, the alternatives to Linear BME narrative ways of imposing order on organizing socio-economic enterprise.


Quantum Storytellling Consulting begins with listening to client's stories, then creating Theater for Social Change enterprises, such as Veterans Theater. It is a special kind of theater based on listening to the material conditions, a listening to space, time, and mattering of our own thoughts, actions, and habits of unsustainability. Since these habits of thoughts, actions, and material ways of Being are inseparable, its just called "spacetimemattering" (Boje, 2015; Henderson & Boje, 2014; Boje, 2014). Client's stories are spatialized. When we diagnosis organization storytelling, we arrive at Tamara-land Theater (Boje, 1995).

Tamara is Los Angeles' longest-running play, and subject of an article I wrote on Disney. On Dec 17th, 2015 Tamara was reenacted in the SteelCase Corporation penthouse showroom. The spatializing of storytelling occurs when, like in any business, there is simultaneous storytelling going on in most every room, and most every floor of most every building. The reality is you cannot be in every room at once, so unless you a God or the CIA, you cannot see and hear all the storytelling going on at once. Rather, you chase storylines from room to room, knowing you are missing the storytelling going on in rooms you do not enter. By compromise, you catch up by comparing story notes with people you run into in hallways, by the water cooler, or some other room you wind up in together. Even then, the two or three of you have not experienced all the storytelling that went on and is still ongoing in other rooms. That is the spatializing of the storytelling in Tamara-land.

Tamara-land is also the temporalizing of storytelling that occurs in business. Linear time (the BME), the clock time, the mechanically sequenced time, the metric measure of time is not the only sort of time. In fact, linear time got a boost in the Industrial Revolution, became mechanized time and motions became time. Frederick Winslow Taylor perfected time and motion measurement, its linear time. And linear time came to dominate Nature's cyclical time. The two time have been interfacing since the Industrial Revolution, opposing one another, but the linear time has been winning out. Organizations of every sort implemented time and motion, in regulated rhythms.

Tamara-land is also the mattering. We are matter, the Earth is matter. It is not Newtonian matter, it is Quantum mattering, the mattering of energy. We are just energy bodies in an energy universe, but our Theater of Organizations, our Global Theater of Capitalism pretends we are Newtonian matter, in Euclidian space, in the time of the Clockwork. Rather, we are in spacetimemattering in the Quantum Age (Boje, 2014).


Natural rhythms are not the same as socially and economically imposed linear rhythms. Nature has cyclical rhythms. The human body is a bundle of Natural rhythms (breathing, heart, respiratory, blood flow, appetite and excretion, and so on). We live on a planet that is a bundle of Natural rhythms (day and night, dawn and dusk, the seasons, tides, birth and death of microbes, rotations about the sun, shifting tectonic plates, the unfolding of the universe, and so on).

The Industrial socio-economic is a bundle of linear rhythms. The Linear Rhythms of the Industrial Revolution are now dominating the Natural Rhythms of both the human body, and the planet. What is socio-economic bundle of rhythms? Answer: Pyramid spaces, clock time, mechanical movements through factory spaces according to mechanical time measurment.

The Repetitive Organization is perfectly designed to get the dysfunctional results it keeps getting.

Figure 12: Benjamin F. Becula (2016) Model of Doomsday Equation (source).

In the Doomsday Scenario, the Repetitive Organization repeats habits, and rewards the linear clock time and mechanical movements in and between spaces, according to its metrics, measurments, and its just so linear (up and own the pyramid, along the line of production, the rows and columns of the classroom). We work in Linear Repetitive Organizations that are under the illusion they are cyclic, organic like Nature, but is actually a Doomsday unfolding year by year. Once upon a time, before the Industrial Revolution, Nature's cyclical bundle of rhythms dominated the human socio-economic enterprise, but that is no longer the case.

Now its time to move storytelling consulting into the Quantum Age (Boje, 2014).


Quantum Storytelling is something I have been writing about (Boje, 2010/2012b, 2011a, b, c, d; 2012a, b, c, d, 2014). And we have an annual Quantum Storytelling Conference ( In 2011 we inaugurated our 1st Quantum Storytelling Conference (click here for proceedings and abstracts). It began because a dozen dissertaions I chaired and or mentored, have gone on to do quantum storytelling work who needed to form a community of scholars meeting outside the dead paradigm conferences (Krisha Coppedge, 2012; Anete Strand, 2012; Henderson, 2013; Wanda Cousar, 2013; Debra Pearl Hockenberry, 2013; Ken Long, 2014; Marie Wilbanks, 2014; Jillian Saylors, 2015; Rohny Saylors, 2015; Nazanin Tourani, 2015; Gerri McCulloh, 2015; Marja Turenen, 2015; Ivy Durant, who died of bat bite before finishing her dissertation).

Quantum Storytelling is spacetimemattering (Boje, 2011b: 27, 32). And at the First Quantum Storytelling Conference in 2011: "WHAT IS QUANTUM STORYTELLING: Quantum storytelling is a basic way of grasping the meaning of Being, in an entire life-path, the life-time of material entities ontologically in Being-in-theworld, environmentally in work-world, equipment-world, supplier-world, consumption-world, welfare-world, and their relationship to physical Nature by understanding and interpreting the ‘heart of care.’ Quantum storytelling is those ‘moments of vision’ in Being-in-the-world, in-time of one’s life path where spirit is grounded in ‘heart of care’ for the world’s environmental realms: work, equipment, supplies, consumption, welfare, and their concern, care, or exploitation of Nature. Quantum storytelling is about the journey of the Self from birth to death through the connectedness of lifetime through detaching from morphic fields of attraction and attachment to the ‘they-self.’ They-self, is what all Others (i.e. stakeholders) prescribe and demand as one’s role in the path of the spiral-antenarrative journey" (Boje, 2011e, at 1st Quantum Storytelling Conference).

We have gone through a Quantum Revolution, since the Neils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg pioneered Quantum Mechanics, and Albert Einstein, David Bohm, and many others could not abide the Observer Effect or the Uncertainty Principle. Nevertheless we are in the Quantum Era, but our organizations are still those Linear Repetitive Organizations. And The Academy of Management is preaching the cutting edge models, but they are just Linear Repetitive Organization theory in new language with new metrics.

It is past time for a new Quantum Storytelling Organization. But how? The answer lies in my past.

Quantum Storytelling: Blacksmithing Art in the Quantum Age

This film is dedicated to my great grandfather, William Henry Shelton (born July 26, 1863 in Brownstown, Indiana; died August 18, 1946), who in 1897. It is a film about the 11 D-key concepts of Quantum Storytelling (Boje, 2012b, c, 2014).

Table 1: 11 D-Concepts of Quantum Storytelling (

Marita Svane and I have composed this model of how A's transform LS and N.

Figure 13 - How Antenarratives Transform Living Story Webs and Dominant & Counternarratives (Source, Svane & Boje, 2014)

Source: Boje 2011c.

Let's unpack the Linear BME-narrative. BME stands for Beginning Middle End.

Figure 14 - A New Look at Antenarratives

In Quantum Storytelling, there is a mixture of Narratives (N), Living Stories (LS) and four kinds of Antenarratives (A) depicted above:

CYCLICAL ANTENARRATIVE (CA)- In Quantum Storytelling, Nature, including our bodies have many cyclical processes: breathing, blood, digestion, and so on. But Nature's cycles (seasons, life cycle, and so on) is being opposed by human-mad cycles (linear-constructed cycle times of production, innovation, and so on). "Everything is cyclical repetition through linear repetitions" (Lefebvre, 2004: 8). That is became the CA and LA interfere with each other constantly. The cyclical originations in Nature, but the linear is what socio-economic organizing does. However, the LA human socio-economic activity tryes to imitate the cyclical rhythms, from one period of time to the enxt. The LA gives rise to antagonistic disturbances or compromises, where the linear clock-time (tick-tock measurements of time), such as in Frederick Winslow Taylor's Scientific Management create what Charlie Chaplin (1936) depicted in Modern Times movie.

Figure 15 - Charlie Chaplain being Fed in Scientific Management Factory (Source and YouTube).

Modern Times's Linear Narrative (LA) is that worker efficency can be increases if engineering experts plan and organize workers relations to equipment. It is a Beginning-Middle-End plot of the progress narrative, and an oversimplification of Working Conditions. Working Conditions (i.e. in socio-economic theory) at the time of the movie, the Great Depression, after the bank failure (1927, and note the similarity to bank failure of 2008), and our own Modern Time Bank Greed Catastrophe. From January 2007 to December 2011 there were 4 million foreclosures, and eventually 8.2 million foreclusures, all of which added to the high homeless levels in the US. Each of the 8.2 million foreclosures is the 'Living Story' (LS) of a family in crisis, but the Linear Antenarrative (LA) simplifies it to a case of Wall Street Greed and Fraud. The Big Short movie is about collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) used by big banks to defraud the American public. In Triadic Storytelling there is a mixture and interplay of N, LS, and A genres.

Source of Table 1.1 (Boje, What is Antenarrative study guide).

Quantum Storytelling is defined here as a mixture of N, LS, and four kinds of A (LA, CA, SA, & AA) that have observable and hidden effects. Quantum Storytelling oscillates between various mixtures of N, LS, and A. For example, the N oftentimes will substitute a BME plot for a thousand LSs in order to create a generalization, an attempt to universalize a plot line. However, the thousands of LSs (or millions in the case of the 2008 collapse of mortgages and the foreclosures) are opposing the oversimplistic LN. The way this happens is through the various types of A's. N is deductive, LS are inductive, but the A's are transformative in an abductive sensemaking (Boje, 2014).

A petrified narrative (is linear and fossilized (LA). Barbara  Czarniawska (2004) originated the 'petrified narrative' concept, and defines it as the basis of strong corporate culture. "However, it can also prevent adaptability, such as the infamous refrain in Disney decision making and strategy meetings, after their founder died, 'What would Walt do?' and a linear narrative would get told, that would prevent change" What is Antenarrative study guide. The petrified narrative decays, comes unraveled by counternarratives forming out of the millions of living stories, that were edited out and marginalized, in the substituted petrified narrative. Most of narrative consulting is about how to develop a petrified narrative, an elevator pitch, a storytelling branding, a CEO stump speech (Boje, 2014). The inter-play between narratives and counternarratives is accomplished by antenarrative forces (Svane * Boje, 2014: Svane, boje, & gergerish, 2015; Svane & Boje, 2015).

The Grand Narrative (linear progress without end) is opposed by Living Stories (LS) of millions of people around the world that suffered loss of jobs, homes, and became homeless (partly from the 2008 greed and partly form the successions of wars and thier high cost in lives and planet). The U.S. Congress had lifted controls on predatory lending and along with the ratings institutions (Standards & Poors, Moody, etc.) did nothing while Wall Street lied to everyone (Huffington Post). The CA here is that 2008 repeats teh 1927 debacle, and currently the CDOs have reemerged by a different name, with a Bubble larger than the speculative market capitalism of 2008 (WSJ, 2015).  $39.5 trillion bond morket, outstanding at mid-2015, is larger by far than the U.S. stock market, $26.3 trillion. The linear progress Linear Antenarrative (LA) is quite dangerous because the expectation that the Bubble will not break, leads many to loss of pension, savings, homes. Lyotard (1984) was right.

ASSEMBLAGE ANTENARRATIVE (AA) In Quantum Storytelling, the Assemblage Antenarrative (AA, aka Rhizome Antenarrative) is a combination or mixture or other kinds of antenarrative patterns, the LA, CA, and SA. AA is a mixture of the social and the material, a sociomateriality assemblage that is agential (has agency) in Quantum Storytelling. The assemblage model is a combination of work by Bruno Latour (1988) and Deleuze and Guattari (1987).

Figure 16 - Latour's Star Model of Actor-Network-Theory (Drawing by Boje)

In Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) both humans and material things have agency, and the entire assemblage of humans and material things has agency. For example, we wear clothes, some of us wear glasses, and many of us carry a Smart Phone. We are cyborg, combinations of Natural body and Machine technologies. Eye glasses, pace makers, iPhones, Androids are man-made technologies. I want my brain back before the Internet. I saw this sign in Netherlands:

Figure 17 - The Human-Internet Cyborg Assemblage (source)

We are so Cyborg now. I miss my pre-Internet brain, that did not need email, FaceBook, Instragram, Skype, YouTube, Smart Phones, and web pages.

For Deleuze and Guattari (1987) assemblages are rhizomatic, and the lines become cycles, which become spirals, which become assemblages.

Figure 18 - Four Types of Antenarratives that form into Assemblages (Boje, 2011).

SPIRAL ANTENARRATIVE (SA) In Quantum Storytelling, the Linear Antenarrative (LA) transforms into an imitative Cyclic Antenarrative (CA), which usually morphs into a Spiral Antenarrative (SA), of several types, and these can become part of Assemblage Antenarrative AA patterns (mixtures of LA, CA, SA, and AA).

There are multiple types of spirals.You have heard of the Knowledge Spiral, it is really just a set of cycles, stacked together.

Figure 19 - Knoweldge Spiral that is really a stack of cycles

The Archimedean spiral that looks like a bolt, a stairwell. The Logarithmic spiral looks like the snail's shell. Golden Spiral grows according to Golden Ratio (Fibonacci series). The Fibonacci spiral opens wider and wider twirls with each rotation. Below is a double spiral, with forces downsurging and upsurging. And a spiral has other movements, along trajectories.

Figure 20 - Boje's Double Spiral Model (source How to Create Double Spirals)


More on Spirals

LINEAR ANTENARRATIVE (LA) the In Quantum Storytelling, Linear Narratives have a Beginning, Middle, End (BME) plot line and these LAs interact with the other antenarratives, even transforming one into the other. Several LA's set up a BME plot to place some (but not all causes) into a linear plot (Wikipedia, for example, has these 4):

  1. "There was the equivalent of a bank run on the shadow banking system, which includes investment banks and other non-depository financial entities. This system had grown to rival the depository system in scale yet was not subject to the same regulatory safeguards.[18][41]
  2. The economy was being driven by a housing bubble. When it burst, private residential investment (i.e., housing construction) fell by nearly 4% GDP and consumption enabled by bubble-generated housing wealth also slowed. This created a gap in annual demand (GDP) of nearly $1 trillion. Government was unwilling to make up for this private sector shortfall.[42][43]
  3. Record levels of household debt accumulated in the decades preceding the crisis resulted in a balance sheet recession (similar to debt deflation) once housing prices began falling in 2006. Consumers began paying down debt, which reduces their consumption, slowing down the economy for an extended period while debt levels are reduced.[2][41]
  4. Government policies that encouraged home ownership even for those who could not afford it, contributing to lax lending standards, unsustainable housing price increases, and indebtedness.[44]"

Of Course, there are deeper root causes of the 2008 mortgage banking and foreclosure crisis that toppled entire economies leaving millions jobless and homeless, such as the deregulations of the banking industry, as mentioned above, and extending back to the use of fossil fuels in 1700s as the industrial revolution permitted population growth increases. The time it takes to reach the next billion in population is getting less and less.


The current Global Theater of Capitalism's script is captured in the film, Cowspiracy (2014) in which filmmakers Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn address the effects of cattle on the environment. What becomes clear in watching this film is Global Capitalism Theater has been misdirecting our attention, by blaming global warming on the transportation industry.

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret ... - YouTube

Video for youtube cowspiracy▶ 9 minutes excerpt
"COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret" is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary 


Animal agriculture is the source of 51% of greenhouse gases.

Figure 21: Do Humans or Cows create more Climate Change?

Again, I am well aware that the thoughts, habits and actions of our human species are not creating characters that eat less meat (or none), ride bicycles (or electric cars), or moving out of McMansions into Tiny Homes, and so on.

All the recycling we do, all the reduce, reuse, and buying a Starbuck Coffee or Tom's of Maine toothpaste, is not going to change our destiny as a planet. Our stroytelling by instituions is priming our thoughts with an Illusion of Sustainabilt, completely out of touch with our material conditions.

Quantum Storytelling is about the entanglement of our storytelling and our materiality, the quanta of energy we consume to live our living stories is being distorted by the institutional grand narratives that says we are achieving progress on sustainability.

Quantum Storytelling Message: Our Storytelling is perfectly designed in the media and education to produce the results of unsustainable thoughts, actions, habits, character and destiny of the downward sustainability spiral we are getting here and now. To change our destiny we need a better quantum storytelling by people in all kinds of organizations that organize to stop fooling us with grand narratives of so-called sustainable results. Instead we actually need to put sustianable thoughts into sustainable actions, make them habits, so that our character is answerable to the 'reality' of material ecological conditions that we are producing by our habits of food, housing, transport, and energy. Only then will we change to a sustainable destiny.

—Please support SOS: School of Sustainability at NM State University
—Sustainability Council at NMSU meets first Tuesday 8:30 – 9:30AM in Milton Room 50
— has Sustainability Minors for Undergrads and Grads



Boje, D. M. (1995). "Stories of the Storytelling Organization: A Postmodern Analysis of Disney as 'Tamara-land.'" Academy of Management Journal. 38(4): 997-1035. or print out the PDF version

Boje, D. M. (2001). Narrative Methods for Organization and Communication Research. London: Sage.

Boje, D. M. (2008). Storytelling Organizations. London: Sage.

Boje, D. M. (2011a). Storytelling and the Future of Organizations: An Antenarrative HandbookLondon: Routledge.

Boje, D. M. (2011b). A Subtler Quantum Physics for ‘Storytelling Organization’ Theory, Method Practice. Pp. 28-44, Conference Proceedings of the Standing Conference For Management and Organizational Inquiry in Philadelphia, April 13-16, 2011. Editor Donna Carlon.

Boje, D. M. (2011c). Quantum Physics Implications of Storytelling for Socioeconomic Research Methods: Experiences in Small Business Consulting Research from New Mexico State University. Paper and keynote presented to the International meeting of Research Methods Division of Academy of Managment, in Lyon, France, June 15 2011. Published in the Proceedings of the conference. Click here for pre-publication pdf.

Boje, D. M. (2011d). Quantum Storytelling - proceedings and papers of Dec 16-18th 2011 conference in Las Cruces, NM.

Boje, D. M. (2011e).Antenarrative Time, Space, and Matter in Teleological Causality:
Thanking Hugo Letiche for His work on Bergson. University for Humanistics, DBA Methodology Workshop: Storytelling and Narrative in Organizational Research, 19th April, Utrecht, Netherlands. Preconference version of the presentation.

Boje, D. M. (2011f). The Heart of Care: Quantum Storytelling and Ontological Inquiry. Presentaiton to the first annunal meeting of 'Quantum Storytelling Conference', held Dec. 16-18, 2011 in Las Cruces, New Mexico at Inn of the Arts. Click here for Proceedings paper.

Boje, D. M. (2012a). Reflections: What does quantum physics of storytelling mean for change management? Journal of Change Management, Vol. 12 (3): 253-271. Click here for pre-press pdf.

Boje, D. M. (2010/2012b) Quantum Storytelling. Free online book (until it gets finished with its revisions, and a publisher calls). Originally December 17, 2010, Quantum Physics of Storytelling

Boje, D. M. (2012c) Quantum Spirals for Organization Consulting online book (until it gets finished with its revisions, and a publisher calls).

Boje, D. M. (2012d) The ♥-of-Care of the Life-Path of Organizations' Double-Spiral-Antenarrative choices through Landscapes.

Boje, D. M. (2014a) Storytelling Organizational Practices: Managing in the quantum age by David M. Boje  ISBN-13: 978-0415815475  ISBN-10: 0415815479; New book released May 7 2014. Routledge book inforomation website; See Reviews for this book).

Boje, David M. (2014b). Welcome to the Leviathan of Institutions profiting from Stress Disorder, Junk Science, While Increasing rate of Suicides. Working paper, January 1, 2014; Revised April 7, 2014, online at

Boje, David M. (2014c). Six Dumb Cultural Habits of Storytelling about War, Veterans, Schooling, and Sustainability. Keynote address to 13th IACCM Annual Conference BETWEEN CULTURES AND PARADIGMS: Intercultural Competence & Managerial Intelligence and 6th CEMS/IACCM Doctoral Workshop, 26-28 June 2014  (Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, UK). Paperslideswebsite study guides and cases

Boje, David M. (2015)Change Solutions to the Chaos of Standards and Norms Overwhelming Organizations: Four Wings of Tetranormalizing. London/NY: Routledge.

Boje, David M. (2015). Mapping Quantum Storytelling Fractal Patterns Before and Beneath Triple Bottom Line’s and Veterans Administration’s Stupid Narratives. Dec 19 presentation to 5th Annual Quantum Storytelling/ Big Story Conference, Los Angeles, CA. Click here for Proceeding Paper.

Boje, D. M. and Henderson, T. (Eds., 2014). Being Quantum: Ontological Storytelling in the Age of Antenarrative. UK: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Boje, D. M., Svane, M., Henderson, T. L., & Strevel, H. B. (in press). Critical corporate social responsibility in tamara-land: The role of tetranormalizing fractals. In R. Ocler (Ed.), Book chapter for a Springer collection, Rodolphe Ocler (ed.).

Deleuze, Gilles; Guattari, Félix. (1987) A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published in French 1980, in English 1987).

Haley, U. C.; Boje, D. M. (2014). Storytelling the Internationalization of the Multinational Enterprise. Accepted on May 4th, 2014 at Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS). Click here for pre-publication draft

Hanna, David P. (1988). Designing organizations for high performance. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing.

Hanna, David P.(2001). Leadership for the Ages: Delivering Today's Results, Building Tomorrow's Legacy David P. Hanna Executive Excellence Pub., 2001 - Business & Economics

Henderson, Tonya; Boje, D. M. (2015). Organizational Development and Change Theory: Managing Fractal Organizing Processes. London/NY: Routledge.

Jones, Arthur Wayne says he had the insight 3- years ago --

Svane, M., & Boje, D. (2014). Merger strategy, cross-cultural involvement and polyphony. Between Cultures and Paradigms, IACCM 2014, University of Warwick, UK. Conference Proceeding. To be published in: European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management.

Svane, M., & Boje, D. (2015). Tamara land fractal change management - in between managerialist narrative and polyphonic living stories. Sc'Moi, Standing Conference for Management and Organizational Inquiry, Las Vegas. See PDF of presentation

Svane, M., & Boje, D.; Gergerich, Erika M. (2015). Counternarrative and Antenarrative Inquiry in Two Cross-Cultural Contexts. Accepted for publication in Special Issue on counternarrative, European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence.