The story goes that Einstein was daydreaming about travelling on rays of light and this led to his famous theory of relativity. But you don’t find many leaders asking their team to daydream. Leadership that unlocks the creative potential of a team requires some courage. It’s easier, one could argue, for giants such as Google to set aside 10% of their employee’s time for creative thinking. This strategy has reaped big rewards for Google but smaller firms struggle with doing this.
Creativity takes time and it also means letting go of control which is another challenge for some leaders.
So imagine these scenarios. A group of Bankers are sat in an office and they are wondering how to extract more money from the public so they can all claim bigger bonuses. So they come up with what they believe is an ingenious solution. They wrap up some dodgy debts into some triple ‘A’ packaging. The rest is history, the effects of which are still reverberating around the world today.
Let’s take another meeting. A group of corporate leaders thinly disguised as politicians say to themselves:
“Let’s start a war in the Middle East, using a recent terrorist attack to unite public opinion, because we’re bound to win quickly and we’ll get all the contracts to rebuild the place and make gazillions.”
We all know how that’s still playing out. READ More:…
“The biggest paradigm shifts happening right now are ironically the increasing awareness of the existence of paradigms…”
In his Book ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolution’, Thomas Kuhn wrote that advancement was not evolutionary but rather a “series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions” when “one conceptual worldview is replaced by another”.
These ‘paradigm shifts’- a term Kuhn created – are best thought of as a transformation driven by agents of change. Examples of change agents through history include the invention of mechanical automation, electrical technology and more recently the digital revolution. The next paradigm shift, known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, will probably be the advance of ‘Smart’ technology which will unleash the potential of communities.
Paradigms themselves are useful as filters for problem solving and decision making within a particular system. They represent the existing worldview. But as Kuhn observed, clinging to the wrong paradigm means you can miss the blindingly obvious. Read More:
Watching the Olympics, I’m reminded of the fact I should go out and do more exercise. At the moment I resemble the couch potato character ‘Denis’ played by Simon Pegg, in the movie ‘Run Fatboy Run’. In the movie Denis attempts to prove to the girl he jilted at the alter, that he can transform into somebody worthy of her attention again, by running in the London marathon.
There is a great scene in which, after many exhausting miles shuffling along the dark streets of London, Denis suddenly hits a brick wall. In his delirious state Denis can’t quite understand what the wall is. The wall symbolises the marathon runner’s wall or ‘the bonk’. It’s a stage when the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles are depleted and the runner literally runs out of energy. To continue the runner must rely on other types of physical and mental processes to continue because the mind and body unanimously want to quit.
I think this is a great metaphor for entrepreneurs who get to a certain stage in their business life cycle….. READ More