Facing Forward: Paradigm Shifts in 2011


The New Year is upon us and we couldn’t be happier, right?

All of our resolutions have been made and we have every intention in keeping them. If you are concerned that all of your good intentions will fall by the wayside by January 19th, don’t be. It doesn’t matter whether you keep your resolutions or not this year. Change is upon us all.

No one really knows what will happen to the job market, the economy, and our own personal lives this year. But what we do know for sure is that it will not stay the way it is. The patterns and paradigms that we followed for so long have been completely dismantled over the past few years. It will now be up to us to determine what new and innovative ways we will conduct business and redevelop our region and our state.

The new year comes at us like a two-headed monster that is exciting, energetic, and scary as hell. We don’t know if the year is here to drive us into this new decade, or will it trample us underfoot. In my mind, it could be either, depending on what direction we choose to face. Lamenting the past will surely crush us, while looking forward with hope and determination offers us new opportunities and challenges along the way.

Here is a thought for all of us: A good friend of mine sent me a video that outlined the fundamental flaws with our education system. It highlighted how the system takes the creativity out of children through over-institutionalization. Almost 90 percent of kindergarteners tested out as geniuses in creative, divergent thinking when they started school. These numbers drastically shrunk each year as the children stayed in the system longer. As adults, we have been institutionalized, too. This process has a way of sapping our creativity and aligning us with traditional business paradigms that have been around far too long.

This won’t work in 2011. We need to become creative again or face the foot of the two-headed monster. These are truly exciting and scary times. If you don’t believe me, see the video and judge for yourself: