Smashing Paradigms – You can’t read the label

{latest in a developing series on Smashing Paradigms}

For my story-telling explanation of the definition of a Paradigm, see “What is a Paradigm“. 

One way of defining a paradigm is “an unconsciously held belief that limits us from fresh thinking” or “we’ve always done it this way”



Gaping Void can't read the label

In last week’s “Smashing Paradigms” piece, “When others Zig, you Zag“, I wrote :

“If, as a leader, you sense that going “radical” is the right path, I strongly encourage you to bring in some outside perspective to challenge your thinking, as the reality is that we typically can’t “think outside the box” when we are in the box already, as it were !

When we are “in the box”, we can’t see outside it, so we will unconsciously limit our thinking.

Recently I was at an event where two businesses were merging and integrating. A repeated phrase used was that they would “raise the bar”. When it was my turn to share my thoughts, I simply said “there is no bar”

Am not sure anybody understood, but I was referencing what I wrote about in “Smashing Paradigms – Growth Mindset and Pole Vaulting“, in that “The unconscious belief carried by the group was that there is a bar, a limit to what can be achieved.”

There is no bar.”

Or, as Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void succinctly puts it in this pithy artwork, “you can’t read the label of the jar you’re in!”

Find someone from outside the jar to help you see new choices.

As a tag line I just heard says “great minds think alike, great leaders seeks different perspectives”.