Breaking Our Paradigms
“The solution for a lot of the world’s problems may be to turn around and take a step forward.”
Paradigms are beliefs that are accepted as common knowledge, but may not necessarily be true. They influence the way in which we perceive the world around us, but are often based on personal or culture bias.
Here are some examples of possible paradigms:
- A stronger horse might increase the speed of travel.
- Printers use ink and paper.
- The average human lifespan is 75 years.
Paradigms are not always a detriment because they can act as a mental heuristic to organize and classify information. All of the above make logical sense. However, can you see how falling trap to paradigms might cause us to miss potential opportunity or fail to solve problems?
- Why not drive a car? See Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company.
- Why not try plastic, rubber or metals? See Stratasys or 3D Systems.
- Why not live to 105? See Peter Diamandis, HumanLongevity.
Many businesses and societies can also operate under paradigms that inhibit their decision-making, prevent them from being innovative, and may even lead to strategic failure.
Look to Radioshack as a recent example — they’ve been cornered out of the market by Amazon. Holding to distribution models of the past, companies can fail to break themselves down, pivot and adapt.
What is here is not here to stay.
The advancement of us as a people will come by breaking our paradigms. Unsolvable problems magically become remedied once the paradigm has changed.
When attempting to problem solve, the only problem is the way in which you see the problem.