Changing Beliefs: Staying Ahead or Behind

by Jay Deragon on 10/15/2010

Most people and organization want to stay ahead rather than fall behind change. Staying ahead means you are prepared for the next shift. Falling behind means you are following the crowd being led by those staying ahead.

Staying ahead means you don’t think like the “crowd” rather you think about the “crowd”.  The “crowd” represents those being lead down the wrong path only to be captured and used for the “sellers benefit”. Those leading the crowd down the wrong path are in fact behind a philosophy of the past.

Many who stay stuck in the old business philosophy think they understand the power of social technology and try to apply it to old corporate practices in marketing, PR, advertising, customer and employee relations etc. only to learn that their strategies fail because they are behind in thinking about the intent of the human network.

Staying ahead requires challenging the assumptions and beliefs of organizational and personal thinking stuck in 1.0 philosophy. You can spot those ahead because their media reflects profound changes in knowledge, values and reason about the human network’s intent with markets. Those ahead represent early adopter ideologies which show the human networks preferences created by the exchange of ideas, desires and intents.

What Do Those Ahead Think About?

Thinking about things is a philosophical practice for examining what could and should be done vs. what is and has been done. Those staying ahead of the curve look at the emerging landscape of technological advances and not only think and talk about what will change but lead their followers to rally for and create the change. So what do they think about? Try these top ten then decide if you are ahead or behind:

  1. They are more interested in “thinkers” than followers.
  2. They appreciate “followers” who can add to the thinking with related dialog.
  3. They see obvious change that would benefit “people” and not “the establishment”.
  4. They don’t chase economic rewards rather they attempt to create rewards for everyone by influencing how people and institutions think.
  5. They think about “holistic benefits of change” and not “selfish gains” from creating change.
  6. They think with abundance and not scarcity.
  7. They are not concerned with what is popular rather what is good for the populous.
  8. They think about common sense change that is uncommon to the “establishment”.
  9. They think about creating new knowledge and not applying old knowledge.
  10. Last but not least they think about people’s relationship with markets and not the markets relationship with people.

Thinking ahead reflects a counter-culture shift from the way things are to the way things ought to be. Those thinking ahead are stimulated by a philosophy that challenges old assumptions and beliefs that are common and then creates uncommon thinking that takes root and becomes the new common.

Using the web to change how and what lies ahead creates more value than using the web to propagate old messages and “established” marketing practices. If you assume the web can best be used to repeat past thinking then don’t be surprised when your “established” way of doing what you’ve always done gets disrupted. Continue to do so at your own demise!

Left behind is not a place where most leaders want to be.  Getting ahead can’t be done with politics as usual but it can be done by leveraging unusual politics. Getting ahead can’t be done with business as usual. Staying ahead begins by changing our “thinking” which in the end will fuel the innovation that changes markets, crowds and a pathway for those behind

Think ahead or get left behind.

{ 1 comment }

Ajay October 16, 2010 at 2:23 am

Staying ahead begins by changing our “thinking” which in the end will fuel the innovation that changes markets, crowds and a pathway for those behind

To me thats sums up everything. Very inspiring article. Businesses however suffer from instant change.Organization I work for takes 3 months to bring about a simple change in work culture. I wish it was easy and open book to make changes quickly to truly think ahead and apply ourselves.

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