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Time to transform – personally & organisationally. Are you ready?

December 14, 2012

As the ancient Chinese proverb insightfully states:

 At times of great winds, some build bunkers, while others build windmills.


change aheadRecently, many notable business-thinkers have been suggesting we are on the cusp of a ‘paradigm shift’ in business.  For instance, Professor Michael Porter stated when addressing a business leaders forum in October 2011:

‘the old models of corporate capitalism are dead…we are witnessing a paradigm shift’

This view was shared by a panel of experts, at the same business forum, who summed up the forum by stating ‘A clear message from this panel is that the old economic model is no longer viable’

Sally Osberg, President of the Skoll Foundation recently explained:

‘Seismic change is clearly underway, with the collapse of global financial markets threatening to make already critical challenges—climate change, water scarcity and geopolitical instability— much worse. But times of upheaval are also times of opportunity’.

John Elkington, Executive Director at Volans states ‘the time is ripe for a true paradigm shift’

windmill 2Alan Moore (author of ‘No Straight Lines’) argues that we have reached the nadir of the adaptive range of our current industrial world, and that we have entered an era when the old rules and approaches to business no longer apply.

Worldview Thinking, a strategic research firm for social innovators, recently found that:

‘Most businesses are currently unequipped to embrace innovation and disruptive thinking at the rapid pace needed to succeed in the emerging economy’. (Sustainable Brands, 2011)

Paul Polman, Global CEO of Unilever, adds to this shift afoot in business when he said:

‘Too many people think in terms of trade-offs that if you do something which is good for you, then it must be bad for someone else. That’s not right and it comes from old thinking about the way the world works and what business is for: Milton Friedman’s optimisation of short-term profits. We have to snap out of that old thinking and move to a new model.’ (Management Today, 2011)

It is increasingly becoming apparent to many in business that our prevalent business practices and mind-sets are being disrupted and systemically challenged; arguably, they are ripe for a paradigm shift.

Fritjof Capra, a world-renowned ‘systems thinker’ defines a paradigm as:

‘A constellation of concepts, values, perceptions and practices shared by a community, which forms a particular vision of reality.’

 windmill 3Hence, it has been suggested that the evolutionary journey of business (organisational and personal) is on the cusp of a paradigm shift – a revolution in response to macro-system drivers such as digitization, globalization, pressure on finite natural resources and responsible business – due to business-as-usual no longer being fit-for-purpose for the increasingly volatile, interconnected and uncertain business environment we now operate in.

Are you ready to transform – personally and organisationally?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 17, 2012 3:32 pm

    As John Cale said, “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones”. We need to look to the future to find hope, not the past.

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