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A "paradigm" is a term
that we have borrowed from the Greeks.
There are many other terms
that people have used
interchangeably with paradigm,
so just for example,
perspective, or model, or state of mind,
and in the field of innovation
we often refer to it as dominant design,
as a product or service
that maybe evokes a perspective
or that we associate
with a particular view or model.
And that we have become so accustomed
to that we don't even realize it anymore.
We take it for granted.
And these paradigms are not solely
cognitive or mental,
but they also become entrenched
in practices and systems,
in procedures and conventions,
and because they are around
for quite some time,
they often can also not be questioned.
They are, we say, normative.
They have some degree of sacredness
also because they are often shared by
competitors, suppliers, and other parties.
And, therefore, it should not surprise us
that paradigms are often protected
and changes are resisted.
If they are taking place,
if these changes are taking place,
we often observe stress, discomfort,
people become quite upset about it.
Compared to new firms
or entrepreneurial firms,
established firms face
various kinds of problems
when they are exposed to a paradigm shift
beyond their entrepreneurial stage,
were no longer adolescents
and have become fully grown.
They, having cultivated
or developed a paradigm,
perhaps with other firms
in the same markets,
they become entrapped.
They become encapsulated
by the paradigm.
And often when we think
about paradigm shifts,
perhaps it is more customary
to think about the paradigm shift
as being brought about
by new firms, by entrepreneurs.
And we can think about Thomas Edison
and his garage shop
that led to General Electric,
or Mr. Hewlett at Hewlett Packard,
Anita Roddick at The Body Shop,
or perhaps more recently
entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs at Apple,
and Brin and Page at Google,
they were truly agents of change
and were at the basis of a new paradigm.
But we also see often
shifts in older and established companies,
especially when they are successful
in getting out of that trap
and are able to renew themselves.
Think about companies like 3M, or Nokia,
Samsung, Corning, these are old stalwarts.
Corning is more than 100 years old
and they have been successful
in renewing themselves
and their paradigm.
Like Corning, moving from conventional glass products
to fiber optical products
that are central
to today's telecommunication.