This Jolt is an excerpt from a forthcoming book by Debra R. Miller and William C. Miller of Values Centered Innovation
“A shift in paradigm triggers a cascade of new innovations. Every paradigm ultimately uncovers the problems it cannot solve, thus setting the stage for a paradigm shift. Fundamental change is, by definition, a change in paradigm.”
- Joel Barker, power of paradigms in business pioneer and expert
Innovation has been named a top priority by CEOs for decades. The global market is flooded with innovation models, processes, tools, techniques, and slogans like “innovate or die.” Innovation has become a popular branding and marketing strategy, among others. In short, strategies for innovation abound.
And yet, despite this deluge of innovation everywhere, we need to invest in a new paradigm if we’re going to enable conscious innovation across our organizations. Not to mention alongside an innovation culture, nurtured.
Another shiny new strategy for innovation based in an old paradigm for success simply will not get the job done.
One of the most prominent paradigms for innovation today actually emerged over 100 years ago: “specialists and experts.” Its priority goal for innovation is bottom-line results. Only specialists and experts are considered to have valuable ideas, so innovation training, projects, and resources are given to them. Everyone else implements what they come up with.
A more expanded paradigm has been maturing since the 1970s: “high initiative.” Its priority goal for innovation focuses on customer satisfaction. Those with an intrapreneurial spirit are considered to have valuable ideas. Innovation training, projects, and resources are given to those with high initiative to succeed with them.
An even more inclusive paradigm has been growing since the 1990s: “everyone.” The priority goal for innovation is “stakeholder well-being,” and everyone is considered to have valuable ideas. Innovation training, projects, and resources are made available to everyone with the anticipation of each person being innovative in their daily work.
While the best of each of these paradigms can take us a long way, it’s time to expand even further to the “consciousness” paradigm of innovation– still very much in its embryonic phase. Each of the current paradigms operates within the horizontal dimension of life: the dimension we can see, touch, feel, smell, and hear. The consciousness paradigm expands to include the vertical dimension of life, the dimension of spirit, energy, and higher wisdom.
“We are entering a new economic era in which creativity and the genius of human consciousness are increasingly recognized as the primary factors that generate success and wealth creation. It is the New Economy of Consciousness.”
- Patricia Aburdene, author of Megatrends 2010 and Conscious Money
Paradigm first… Strategy second. That’s the conscious way to lead and navigate our paradigm-busting times.
Now it's your turn! Try on this Culture Jolt in your own life and work using the Conscious Innovator® process:
- Become aware– What is 1 new awareness you have about yourself, others and your situation?
- Identify your capability– What is 1 personal value and 1 strength you can draw from and put into practice?
- Take versatile action– What is 1 action you can take to apply your awareness and capability in ways you have not thought of before?
Need help making an idea-triggering shift in your tactical business strategy?
Lean into it by evaluating the new paradigms possible. VCI can help.
About the Authors
Debra Miller and William Miller have dedicated their careers to enabling “conscious innovation”. Debra draws from her experience as an IT executive and business coach, while William completed his tenure as Head of Innovation Management at the Stanford Research Institute. Together, they balance inner transformation with mastering new competencies for bringing out the innovative best with “every person, every job, every day.”