Books To Read Before You Lead - Paradigms
If you were born in the 80s you probably missed Joel Barker’s Future Edge (now titled Paradigms) that was published in 1992. It is an important book and is well worth going back and reading. It will help you to imagine new possibilities by examining your own thinking.
While the word paradigm has been worked to death, understanding the rules that govern the behavior and thinking of individuals and groups is no less important. Paradigms reflect our view of the world and to a large extent predict our behavior. Adam Smith wrote in Powers of the Mind, “When we are in the middle of the paradigm, it is hard to imagine any other paradigm.” The point is, if you can change the rules, you can change the future.
Barker argues that paradigm pliancy is the best strategy in turbulent times. Paradigm pliancy “is the purposeful seeking out of new ways of doing things. It is an active behavior in which you challenge your paradigms on a regular basis by asking the Paradigm Shift Question:”
What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but, if it could be done, would fundamentally change my business?And then asking the question:
Who outside my field, might be interested in my unsolved problems?For leaders he offers the following thoughts. Keep in mind that managing and leadership are not mutually exclusive functions, but are best served in the presence of the other.
You manage within a paradigm.
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