Newton's Third Law of Motion says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And Scotty of Star Trek knew that if matter and anti-matter were out of kilter it was a sure-fire recipe for disaster (it plays havoc apparently with the dilithium crystals that power the Enterprise).

In other words, the Universe has developed its own way of keeping things in balance.

But maintaining balance in the world of commerce goes against the grain in most modern business cultures. Organisations, certainly those that want to make regular rising profits, care little for their essential equilibrium. They see stasis as decay. They think that not planning constantly for change in fast-moving competitive markets is akin to readying themselves for the knacker's yard.

These businesses have at heart an almost neurotic need for novelty. But this search for all things new produces a strongly mixed message. On the one hand, companies want uniformity of service and unvarying quality of products (this is part of the essence of branding), yet they want to achieve this consistency by constantly playing around with the processes of production. This might be by introducing a new piece of machinery, some new computers or software, or new managerial systems that try to spur staff to work harder or more efficiently.

Organisations with an incessant need for change, that are unhappy in their own skin and are scratching around for ways of getting more for less, can be prone to making hasty decisions that have damaging longer-term consequences.

Step forward the Class of 1999/2000 MBA strategists who insisted every company that wasn't rushing to join the New Economy (remember that dated term? It's ironic how the word 'new' can sound so old-fashioned?) was a dinosaur awaiting extinction. If only these young guns with itchy trigger fingers had known that sometimes there is more value to be had from doing nothing than actions taken in haste.

These bright business school strategists all want to join organisations that are restlessly on the move. They urge their organisations forward, planning and plotting reforms. At the heart of these changes is the central theme that if the company only aspires to doing as well as the year before then it is tantamount to giving up.

So very established is the theme of change, and of such importance to business culture in modern economies, that too little thought is given when businesses start planning the next round of restructuring or innovation in the permanent revolution.

My solution? Well, I'd create a director responsible for challenging all proposed change. The role could be called the Head of Inoperations, or the Director of Inertia, or the Head of No Development.

Whatever their title, this director would be blessed with the power of veto, with the absolute right and mandate to try and block changes and innovations. They could head up non-change programmes such as "Making It Not Happen" or "Put the Giant Within To Sleep". To reinforce their mandate, they could bring in guest non-inspirational speakers who are paid to drone on and bore the workforce rigid until every one of them has given up any ridiculous notion of striving for change.

And because the Head of Doing Nothing, assisted by his Deputy Head of Doing Little as Possible, is paid a salary based on blocking change, this person won't be alienated or cast out by his colleagues for opposing rather than supporting new ideas. They are simply meeting their brief.

Neither will the Director of Torpor be forced into voting in favour of schemes simply because they are the pet scheme of the CEO or Chairman. Their power of veto should be absolute.

Currently, the nearest most companies come to resisting change is a bit of half-hearted blocking by the finance director. The FD is allowed by dint of his or her role to question closely the merits of spending company money, especially so-called investing for future growth.

But even the most curmudgeonly FD is eventually forced to approve the finance for projects that other directors have put their weight behind. In short, the role they play as corporate naysayer can be a very lonely one and to retain the respect of their peers, they usually find a 'yes' not a 'no' goes down better.

The whole problem is that business people like to be positive, and part of being positive is sharing a consensus. Consequently, there are few companies who have directors with the courage to stand up and block projects of schemes that are clearly untested.

Now there is a whiff of 1999 back in the air, and people are sweet talking themselves into thinking that with hindsight there won't be another TMT disaster in the offing, companies would do well to think seriously about this.

For example, if only the late lamented conglomerate GEC had hired a Director of Inoperations or Director in Charge of No New Business it might still be around today as a FTSE 100 company.

Sadly, the new GEC management team jumped head first into what was going to be an enormous TMT market. It sold its profitable defence parts of the business, rebranded as Marconi, and used the huge cash pile built up under Lord Weinstock to go on a massive spending spree.

A year or so down the track, it had squandered Weinstock's £2.6 billion pile of spare cash on a bunch of trashy telecoms assets.

If only it had appointed a Head of Inertia. Ditto the likes of Unilever and Procter & Gamble. If they had been more resistant to change and hadn't been quite so keen to join the Dot Com revolution they wouldn't have blown so much on their consumer website ventures.

If their Director of Doing Nothing was fulfilling his role properly neither company would have been so gung ho on the New Economy. Instead they would have seen out the mad Web dash and not wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of shareholders' funds starting unlikely websites.

Of course, we wouldn't have the chance to make cheap jokes about Wowgo, Unilever's website aimed at teenage girls, which soon turned into Wowgone when its plug was pulled after youngsters failed to use the site in droves. (They clearly had better things to do than chat online about hair and beauty products.)

And P&G's Swizzle website - another site for the reluctant teenage girl - was probably a greater swizzle for shareholders. It too died an early ignominious death.

The truth is that both companies wasted many thousands on these fruitless ventures, reacting too quickly to what they saw as a market place they had to be in.

If only they had on their boards a director who had the brief to say no to these ill-judged schemes.

Although this article is clearly tongue in cheek, there is a serious point to be made. Boards need powerful directors who can say no to hare-brained ideas, even if they are the pet scheme of the CEO or Chairman. In theory, this is what non executive directors do on the boards of publicly quoted companies. In reality, standing in the way of the CEO and refusing to budge is bound to be a quick way to lose the £25,000 a year they receive in NED fees.

The fact of the matter is that directors should welcome more heretics and dissidents into the fold. And equally, they should be wary of taking cheap applause from sycophantic colleagues who think their careers will go further faster by always sheepishly agreeing with the bosses.

Moreover, any company director that is hatching an ill-thought out scheme for future growth should be greeted with the sort of short shrift treatment an old-fashioned bank manager or today's hard nosed venture capitalist gives to an ill-costed, badly strategised, under-researched business plan.

So next you time you think your colleagues are being intransigent when blocking your pet scheme for rapid growth, think of the long-term value they are really adding by saying no not yes. It may be just the decision (or non decision) that could save your job.