Looking Through Small Business Filters

Several years ago I was introduced to the word “paradigm” and to the concept itself. It’s often considered an overused word many avoid as a cliche, but I like it. To me, nothing fits the bill like paradigm when you want to describe the way each of us view the world. In his 1989 book, The Business Of Paradigms, Joel Barker says we put up filters through which passes only information we feel comfortable with, and with which we have developed a way to be successful. All other information is turned away.

In her new book, Executive Thinking, our friend, Leslie Kossoff, reminds us that, "As humans, we are not limited to seeing things in one particular way. We choose to see things in a way that is most familiar to us." What an unfortunate and limiting condition that is – to choose to only see the familiar. Do you do that? Do I?

If we do, how hard does a new idea or concept have to work to crash through our “filters”? Too hard, I fear. We are often so proud of ourselves when we subscribe to a new way of thinking or behaving. How enlightened we are! But how many less persistent, but no less worthy and valuable ideas have we slammed the door on?   That’s a troubling thought, isn’t it?!

For years I didn’t like broccoli. Wouldn’t let it through my “vegetable filter.” In a moment of temporary starvation one day, I ate some and found that my taste buds had evolved to where broccoli now was good. I had a new vegetable paradigm, and today, broccoli is my green vegetable of choice. Sadly, how many years of broccoli enjoyment did I miss? Asparagus came next - then artichoke hearts. Can Brussels sprouts be far behind? My vegetable possibilities are now endless. (Except for cauliflower. Still working on that.)

Next time you are introduced to a new thought, idea, concept, angle, paradigm, or vegetable, before you “86” it, make sure that you aren’t looking through an old, worn, out-dated filter. That filter might be holding you back.

Who knows, a whole new world of delicious, low hanging green things might be waiting for you just for the picking: the leafy kind, and the dead president kind. And all you have to do is “86” your filters.

Hollandaise sauce?