Book: Reflections

Reflections - bringing attention to your daily life by Désirée Steinmann

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Reflections of the Week

This New World Needs New Paradigms

2015-08-13 11:03 (comments: 0)

Our world is changing faster and more globally than ever before. We have entered a new era with breathtaking speed and this is why I’m asking myself today: “Are we aware of the new challenges and the new opportunities?”

Seth Godin in his new book “Linchpin” describes very vividly the way that our world used to work. There used to be people whose privileged position, education, and financial advantage gave them leverage in the society. There also used to be people, who earned their living by going to work and following the instructions and keeping to the rules. As long as they followed the rules and did as they were told, they had a pretty secure job.

When I look at the world today, I cannot help but notice that the old system has been turned upside down. Today everybody can access information on any given subject, at their convenience and mostly free of charge, too. Thanks to the collective nature and the global reach of the Internet we have access to even those nuggets of wisdom that used to be reserved for a handful of the chosen ones. We can create marketing material directly on our computers and as soon as it’s ready we can immediately advertise globally on the Internet. Information that used to be available only through newspapers can now be distributed in true time by a mouse click to every corner of the world. We can learn from the influential and successful people without ever coming into contact with them, and we can try to imitate their success. These are our new opportunities, but are we ready for them?

So what is happening with all those good and obedient workers who used to be so indispensable in the traditional workplace? Well, unfortunately people who simply come to work on time and who follow the rules and instructions cannot count on job security any longer. Today we need people who not only function well in the workplace, but who can envisage and address the challenges of the new era. We need creative men and women who can question the status quo and who can think out of a box. We need independent lateral thinkers who can come up with the ideas and the solutions to the problems and the issues of tomorrow.

Here is my question to all parents, teachers, leaders and CEOs: “How can we bring about this paradigm shift?” How should the school system change in order to teach our children courage, creativity and initiative instead of conformity?  What must we change in our upbringing methods, even at the cost of giving up some values that we grew up with? How can the leaders revive the natural skills and abilities that their employees were trained to give up as children? How must the work environment and the leadership model change to encourage creativity and lateral thinking in the workplace? Are our goals, which are built on the old experience and old standards still valid in this new world?

We often believe in what we already know and because we don’t question these old truths we might be missing opportunities in the still uncharted territory of the New. Just consider this: not long ago flying seemed to be completely beyond our reach, but how often have you flown in an airplane already?



Disconnecting from change does not recapture the past. It loses the future.

Kathleen Norris



The future ain't what it used to be.

Yogi Berra


Telling the future by looking at the past assumes that conditions remain constant. This is like driving a car by looking in the rearview mirror.

Herb Brody


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