“The biggest paradigm shifts happening right now are ironically the increasing awareness of the existence of paradigms…”
Paradigms are a worldview shared amongst a group of people so they can experience group identity
and achieve a common purpose. Our world is governed by them very much like seas influence the
life of a fish.
Examples of paradigms include the idea of countries, money, religion.
They are a set of beliefs, values and stories which enable collaboration with greater numbers of people and even with people living different locations. It is our ability to use paradigms that enabled us to climb to the top of the species hierarchy.
One monkey left on a deserted island might survive more ably than one person might (unless he’s Bear Grylls). But if you put one hundred people on the island, then they would organise themselves more effectively than the monkeys.
But there are a few problems with paradigms…. Read More
A favourite quote of mine is Buckminster Fuller’s, “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.” I’ve been looking for a way to implement this philosophy into my work.
I spent some time with overseas intelligence officers last year, teaching leadership. For amusement I used the opportunity to subversively challenge their worldview under the guise of improving decision-making skills. By challenging them to argue for their enemies’ viewpoint, it soon became apparent that both sides had ideas worthy of consideration. People are complex beings. Ultimately though, the officers realised that after leaving the course, they would hit the paradigm inertia present within consolidated organisations and governments and have to continue working on the assumptions they held before.
So, upon my return I wrote a book called ‘From Mercenaries to Missionaries’. It’s a fusion of
experience, observations and research whose purpose is to help business owners evolve into leaders who can unleash more of the purpose, passion and potential of the teams in growing businesses. Within society entrepreneurial people are creating wealth by selling products and services. To be successful they have to compete for their place in the Universe and bringing a product to the marketplace often requires a Herculean effort. I realised by working with business owners, that once they achieve a certain measure of success, they can be persuaded to challenge the present paradigm, much like I did with the intelligence officers.
Businesses usually follow the ‘growth for growth sake’ mentality. This leads to growing teams of people who become less engaged, trading their time for money, constantly in need of a pay rise to maintain the levels of dopamine they get from opening their payslips. It’s the mercenary approach. It becomes soulless and frustrating working in mercenary organisations as people become widgetized to remove uncertainty. But I help leaders harness the complexity and creativity within the team, not hide from it.
To challenge this paradigm in larger, consolidated organisations, is possible but it meets more paradigm inertia. So, this book helps founders and entrepreneurs develop high performing, intra-dependent teams who can make ecological decision which don’t sink the ship. This then allows the entrepreneur the freedom to solve other more meaningful problems and they can be guided to help their communities thrive too. I would say:
‘Inspirational leadership is ordinary people doing extraordinary things in a constantly shifting world. Leading themselves and, by example, others into a better world for everyone. A world which is environmentally sustainable, socially just, and a personally fulfilling place to live and work’.
Until we change the way we operate in society, I’m on a mission to challenge the entrepreneurial lifecycle helping them become purpose focussed instead of purely profit driven. By unlocking more of the potential of the team’s collective intelligence, organisations can become platforms for developing a new world which makes the old world obsolete.
Anticipating and planning for a world which not even the experts know will look like yet, will bring fresh challenges – probably daily – for leaders, teams and the coaches who support them.
Here is a white paper on a new model of coaching suited to Modern Day Leadership Coaching. It’s aimed at leaders and coaches wanting to leverage more potential and unlock the opportunities within the chaos of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Download here.