How to Lead Paradigm Shift Levels Of Change
Originally published: 25/11/2019 15:38
Publication number: ELQ-73456-1
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How to Lead Paradigm Shift Levels Of Change

Here I outline 5 stages to lead your business' paradigm levels of change and double your odds of success.


A refrain I often hear from technology entrepreneurs to investors is that their product or solution is so innovative that it will cause a “paradigm shift” in the industry. Their assumption is that customers and investors will be wowed by this into buying, ignoring the evidence that large-scale change takes a long time, most often fails, and scares away customers and investors alike.

For example, I still remember when Dean Kamen launched the Segway Human Transporter in 2002, predicting a transportation paradigm shift, and geared up to sell 10,000 per week for the next five years. Due to qualms of customers and governments, he sold less than 30,000 of the devices over the next five years. Most other new vehicle designers have suffered a similar fate.

Clearly large-scale change efforts, whether driven by an entrepreneur or an enterprise, need strong leaders and a proven approach to beat the odds of failure. I found some excellent guidance in this regard in a new book, “Beyond Performance 2.0,” by Scott Keller and Bill Schaninger, based on their work and a decade of research at McKinsey & Company.

They outline five stages, which I espouse, to leading paradigm shift levels of change and increase your odds of success from the historical thirty percent to at least double that number. While the author’s focus is slanted toward enterprises, I believe I have seen and can characterize comparable steps for small businesses and entrepreneurs:

  • Step n°1 |

    Aspire: Set strategic objectives and business health goals.

    Create a compelling long-term change vision with milestones and deliverables. Roll back the future to immediate and mid-term aspirations, while guarding against emotion and biases in the process. Test your goals and objectives on real customers and outside experts to validate reality.

    Objectively audit your business health for weaknesses and strengths in resources, leadership, skills, and experience. Build an action plan for any ailing areas needing immediate improvement. Choose where you must be exceptional in service and focus.

    How to Lead Paradigm Shift Levels Of Change image
  • Step n°2 |

    Assess: Forecast required skillsets and needed mindset shifts.

    Looking at your desired rollout and growth, and understanding resource supply dynamics and availability, identify how any gaps will be closed.

    Explore the underlying mindset drivers of the required team behaviors. Isolate and reframe the critical “root-cause” mindsets for any unhealthy ones. Pinpoint helping and hindering behaviors related to health priority areas, such as hiring and training.

    How to Lead Paradigm Shift Levels Of Change image
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