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The Paradigm Shift Zone

This series of articles explores the paradigms we operate under in our organisations and the changes in those paradigms (Paradigm shifts) that are occurring.  By paradigm, we mean the assumptions we make about how things operate. By paradigm shift we refer to changes in those fundamental assumptions, that mean we need to re-evaluate how we think about things: in this case how we think about our organisations, our people, our strategy and how we manage.

This is a developing article, that will expand over time.

First, what do we mean by a paradigm, and a paradigm shift?

The phrase ‘Paradigm shift’ has become a cliché, overused and is losing its impact. Here I explain what is a paradigm, and what does a paradigm shift really mean?.  I created this zone because I believe there are real changes that are affecting our businesses and organisations: changes that deserve the phrase paradigm shift. I want to use the the phrase with genuine clarity, meaning and impact.  hence this carefully researched article about the idea of paradigms and what specifically constitutes a paradigm shift.  (PS there is a piece that is often missed by people)… what is a paradigm, and what a paradigm shift really means.

The Paradigms of how we work, and the paradigm shifts that are occurring

I want to look deeper, because how we choose and design the way to lead and manage, depends on some things that are more fundamental.   The choice and design should be based upon our underlying beliefs and even our philosophy and what we believe about people.  It should also be based on how things in the world of work, business and organisations are changing, have changed and will continue to change.   Let me expand on these.  For instance:

  • How you think about people.
    1. What you believe about people.
    2. How we respect, treat and connect with people.
    3. What we believe about people’s motivations and needs.
  • How you think about our organisations.
    1. Their nature, their purpose, and ethical stance
    2. The role and impact of our organisations on society, the environment and people.
    3. The role work plays in our lives. Why people come to work and what it fulfils.
  • The nature of the connections (The social systems)
    1. amongst organisations and individuals,
    2. within organisations as a social system, and
    3. between organisations as a wider eco- and social-system.
  • How you think about the nature of work, itself.
    1. How we work is changing and will continue to change. (The current trend is the impact of AI, but there are plenty of others influences.)
  • The expectation of work
    1. How the expectation of work is changing.
    2. How we engage people in our organisations. (Not simply employ them)
    3. How individuals see their relations to work and to organisations is changing.

These all have implications for how we think about how we should lead and manage our people, our organisations and our eco-systems.

These shifts, influence how we look at our organisations, how we design them and how we manage them

One aspect of change we are seeing is how we manage our organisations:  I often think something is missing from our strategy thinking: How we choose to lead and manage.  More and more I am having conversations with Chief Executives and reading articles about alternate ways to mange the organisations and our people.

Specific paradigm shifts that have influenced our thinking for the Fourth generation Strategic Balanced Scorecard

Over the years, we realised that traditional balanced scorecard thinking no longer applied in many cases.  The changes and shifts in approach and emphasis were large enough for us to develop the Fourth Generation Strategic Balanced Scorecard.  An approach that reflect these changes and integrates them into a cohesive whole to address the collective effect on how organisations are managed of these changes we see today.

Thought provokers vs paradigm shifts

I frequently write thought provoking articles.  These are not suggesting a paradigm shift and it would be wrong to classify them as such.  However they are designed to provoke a deeper thought about what we are doing, assuming and how we work.   So I have classified these articles as “Thought provokers”.    Here is a page of though provokers about how we manage strategy, people and our organisations.