Game Makers, Paradigm Shifters & Disruptors

This morning, I was sipping my coffee and enjoying a book entitled Paradigms by Joel Arthur Barker. On the cover is a gentleman who I assume to be the author. He is wearing a suit and looks like the picture was taken in 1992. If the old adage is “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” then this book is an ironic, meta-halo of that joke.

Barker tells us in Chapter 5 that “Paradigm Shifters” have no credibility. They’re outsiders with nothing to lose… because they have nothing. Instead of brushing them off, he suggests we listen and equip them to solve our BIGGEST problems. Here are the four types he identifies:

Type 1: young person fresh out of training

Type 2: older person shifting fields

Type 3: the maverick insider

Type 4: the incessant tinker

There is a massive tendency for the incumbent leadership to say, “oh, that’s too radical,” or “who gave you permission to change the rules?” Or “let’s get real here.”

I’m floored by these insights… 1992, no less! The internet was not yet a thing. The Apple computer and Visa-Calc spreadsheets are examples of outsiders disrupting incumbents like IBM and their mainframe, business-class-only solutions.

“You manage within a Paradigm. You lead between paradigms.”

At Little Engine Ventures, we believe owners deserve freedom.  For many small business owners they are trapped in the day-to-day operations. Many say this is impossible to break out of this paradigm, but our experience suggests differently. Our role is to guide three archetypes into a new world of freedom. The Seller, The Investor & The Executive-on-Deck.