Monday, October 3, 2011

Paradigm Shifts ...

“Thinking inside the box” represents a paradigm which has closed boundaries with constrained options; i.e. “the way it is”.  “Thinking outside the box” represents a paradigm outside with flexible options; i.e. “what it might be”.  Metaphors for the 21st Century focuses on “New ways of Thinking inside and outside the box”.  I feel it is essential to think inside and outside the box paradigms as well as the transition between the paradigms.  This blog focuses on this concept.
A simplified analogy for paradigm is a habit of reasoning, or "the box" in the commonly used phrase "thinking outside the box". Thinking inside the box is analogous with normal science. The box encompasses the thinking of normal science and thus the box is analogous with paradigm. "Thinking outside the box" would be what Kuhn calls revolutionary science. Revolutionary science is usually unsuccessful, and very rarely leads to new paradigms. However, when they are successful they lead to large scale changes in the scientific worldview. When these large scale shifts in the scientific view are implemented and accepted by the majority, it will then become "the box" and science will progress within it.” extract.
The “Focus on Paradigm Shifts …” shows the shift of Paradigm A to Paradigm B and Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Concept.  The spiral in the center represents the processes that are involved with taking the input on the left and creating an output on the right with resources from the bottom.

“The Focus on Paradigm Shift Venn Diagram …” examines the paradigms and processes using the Venn diagram concept. discusses Venn diagrams in detail. Tools such as SmartDraw can be used to create Venn Diagrams and other graphical communication visuals.
As you can see the current paradigm “A” and future paradigm “B” have overlap processes “C”.  Note “D” represents areas of paradigms that are common to both.  Current paradigm processes “E” and Future paradigms processes “F” have processes “G” that are common to both. Use of Venn diagrams is a tool for analyzing what needs to change and what needs to remain the same in the paradigm shift.

The “Focus on Dilts Leadership …” chart is a diagram from the book “Visionary Leadership Skills: Creating a World to Which People Want to Belong” by Robert Dilts.  As I recall his work is based on Gregory Bateson’s work. 

The “Focus on bcXX Paradigm Shift Chart …” is based on these levels of thinking from Dilt’s chart. It illustrates “Egypt” to “Promised Land” paradigm shifts and associated levels of Micro, Macro and Meta thinking. Kessels & Smit document describes the levels from Gregory Bateson and Robert Dilt’s work in a corporate coach context.  My chart above is based on the Dilt’s chart modified for work in the context of paradigm shifts.  Note some of the work starts with the lowest level in Paradigm A and examines it in an upward manner, once reaching the top it examines Paradigm B in a downward manner.  This approach is useful in thinking through the various levels associated with Paradigm shifts and complements the Venn diagram approach.  Some of the psychological treatments uses this up-down approach to align the clients thinking.   
As discussed in Blog May 24, 2011 Blog New Ways of Thinking Inside and Outside the Box …”.  Several years ago I read a book discussing Paradigm Shifts; in it the concepts of Visionary, Leader and Administrator paradigms were discussed. The author emphasized that a Leader is one that has the ability to move from one paradigm to another. This is what is being attempted to be depicted in the chart.’

Your challenge is to answer the question in " Focus on Your Paradigm ..."!
Post Script October 4, 2010
After writing and posting this blog, I awakened in the middle of the night wondering if the concepts discussed in this blog could be used to understand the events of major paradigm shifts such as the 2011 Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, etc.  Included below is extracts from Wikipedia related to these two paradigm shifts.  Please look at the chart that shows Paradigm A – Egypt moving to Paradigm B – Promised Land.


The Wikipedia Arab Spring article gives information this event.

Numerous factors have led to the protests, including issues such as dictatorship or absolute monarchy, human rights violations, government corruption (demonstrated by Wikileaks diplomatic cables),[139] economic decline, unemployment, extreme poverty, and a number of demographic structural factors,[140] such as a large percentage of educated but dissatisfied youth within the population.[141] Also, some attribute the 2009 Iranian protests as one of the reasons behind the Arab Spring.[142] The catalysts for the revolts in all Northern African and Persian Gulf countries have been the concentration of wealth in the hands of autocrats in power for decades, insufficient transparency of its redistribution, corruption, and especially the refusal of the youth to accept the status quo.[143] Increasing food prices and global famine rates have also been a significant factor, as they involve threats to food security worldwide and prices that approach levels of the 2007–2008 world food price crisis.[144] Amnesty International singled out Wikileaks release of US diplomatic cables as a catalyst for the revolts.[145]
In recent decades rising living standards and literacy rates, as well as the increased availability of higher education, have resulted in an improved human development index in the affected countries. The tension between rising aspirations and a lack of government reform may have been a contributing factor in all of the protests.[143][146][147] Many of the internet-savvy youth of these countries have studied in the West, where autocrats and absolute monarchies are considered anachronisms. A university professor of Oman, Al-Najma Zidjaly referred to this upheaval as youthquake.[143]
Tunisia and Egypt, the first to witness major uprisings, differ from other North African and Middle Eastern nations such as Algeria and Libya in that they lack significant oil revenue, and were thus unable to make concessions to calm the masses.[143]  
This Wikipedia Occupy Wall Street Article discusses this event.


After the late-2000s recession that left many countries on the edge of bankruptcy, with weakened economies and unemployment at very high levels, a Canadian-based group, the Adbusters Media Foundation, best known for its advertisement-free anti-consumerist magazine called Adbusters, proposed a peaceful occupation of Wall Street in protest against the current U.S. political leadership and the failure to prevent or make effective changes regarding the global financial crisis. According to the senior editor of the magazine, “[they] basically floated the idea in mid-July into our [email list] and it was spontaneously taken up by all the people of the world, it just kind of snowballed from there.”[16]
Although it was originally proposed by Adbusters magazine, the demonstration is leaderless.[17] Activists from Anonymous encouraged its followers to take part in the protest, which increased the attention it received.[7] Other groups followed, including the NYC General Assembly and U.S. Day of Rage.[11] The protests have brought together people of many political positions.
Prior to the protest's beginning on September 17, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press conference, "People have a right to protest, and if they want to protest, we'll be happy to make sure they have locations to do it."[11] 

Thank you for reading this blog, hopefully it will give you better understanding of Paradigm Shifts.