I’m fascinated watching the uptake of AI language models. They’re a profound paradigm shift in how we approach work. Like any new frontier, there will be those who thrive and others who lag behind.

Which got me thinking about past paradigm shifts and the organizations that got left behind because their leaders didn’t understand the significance and thought, “We can just carry on the way we’ve always been”.

For a couple of centuries Switzerland dominated the watch making industry.

Back in the 1960’s Swiss scientists developed the quartz crystal watch. But the Swiss Watch Board thoroughly entrenched in their own paradigm refused to see the potential.

But the Japanese did. Enter Seiko. Which led to a major decline in the Swiss watch industry.

We’ve seen similar entrenchment with Kodak and the digital camera.

There’s a similar paradigm shift with the uptake of electric cars.

Joel Barker writes about how when paradigms fundamentally shift, everyone goes back to zero. Past success and experience become irrelevant. It becomes a level playing field.

So the question worth reflecting on is what paradigms are we “living in”.

Are we questioning what we’re doing, who for and how we keep innovating? Being open to new ideas etc.

As a business mentor, my role is to help clients lead a better business and live a better life.

This involves helping them move out of the day to day and look to the future. What could be around the corner that could be advantageous. What risks are they not seeing.

Serving as an external perspective allows me to ask “why” and collaboratively plan a forward-thinking strategy with my clients. It’s about embracing change, staying open to new ideas, and continually innovating for sustained success.

A great philosophy is to “Sleep with one eye open”.

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