Common Ingredients of a Paradigm Shift

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Ingredients involved in the growing realization there is a need for change & innovation:

1. Tension – A growing sense that the way things are don’t adequately explain or account for your experiencing or desires.

2. Dissatisfaction –  with the way things are that leads you into an all out pursuit of a better way.

3. Insufficiency – The things which already exist fail to meet the need in an acceptable way. This leads to the drive for innovation that better meets the reality of the challenges that face us. Think about the transition from Morse code to land lines to cell phones to smart phones…and now even smart glasses! You used to have to walk to the phone, now you carry it with you. That reflects and is reinforced by the value of mobility in society.

4. Inefficiency…finding a shorter path to the same solution. When the models you have are cumbersome you may come to realize that what was commonly accepted as “essential” was actually negotiable.

5. Commonality – When other people express the same concern, the same burden or the same vision that is affirmation that there really is something to what you are experiencing, something to the change you are seeking, or something to the solution you are on the edge of discovering.

Working toward a solution:

6. Community – Along with commonality is community. Paradigm shifts aren’t usually worked out in isolation. They often get sparked by conversation that leads to innovation.

7. Key Information – Past experiences, relationships, and information that comes together in a new and profound way that expose a new path forward or a new way to view things. That key piece of information that plugs in at just the right time which makes sense out of all the other parts.

8. Re-purposing – what already exists. There are things we do that used to make a lot more sense than what they do now. Our tendency is to scrap these things and sometimes that is for the best. Instead of seeing something as wasted time and space ask how that already committed time and space could be re-purposed into something that advances your goals, purposes, and passions.

9. Investing Resources – Paradigms rarely shift without great effort. Shifting a paradigm takes resources. It will take your time, energy, etc. Not too many of the world’s greatest discoveries took place while sitting on the couch eating, now defunct, twinkies. Many came after multiple encounters with failure. That takes a willingness to take a risk (or multiple risks). That willingness springs out of the dissatisfaction and tension (maybe burden is a better word) of knowing there has to be a better way.

10. Unexpected – The irony is, when a paradigm does shift it wasn’t because you saw it coming…otherwise you had no need for a shift. Paradigm shifts are often the unexpected result of investing our time and energy into something important to us.

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