“When a paradigm shifts, everything goes back to zero. “ Joel Barker. In his now famous video from 1988 called Discovering the Future: The Business of Paradigms, Joel Barker introduced the concept of paradigm shifts into the business vocabulary. A paradigm is a set of rules and boundaries and the problem solving system for being successful within those rules. An example of a paradigm shifting in history was when the Japanese eclipsed the Swiss taking them from more than 100 years of nearly 90% market share in watch sales to only 33% within three years of the introduction of quartz watch technology. Ironically, it was the Swiss who had invented the quartz watch. They thought it was a novelty item and hadn’t even patented it. The Japanese saw it at a trade show and changed the way the world would tell time within a couple of years. Remember, when a paradigm shifts, you cannot count on past success. Everything goes back to zero.

Personal computers, internet marketing and websites like Facebook have changed the rules for sales and marketing completely. Tried and true marketing methods may still work, but simply can’t compete with these new ways of doing business. Are you on board? There is no slowing down change. While people are getting used to teleclasses and webinars, for example, there are new ways of learning right around the corner that will blow your science fiction mind. The world is spinning so fast with new technologies; it can be overwhelming.

These lyrics are truer now than when they were initially penned in the 1970’s in this folksy ditty by Bob Dylan, The Times they are a Changin’…

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

So the question you need to ask yourself is; are you offering something that is relevant to what the customers want and need today? Are you communicating with your customers in the way that they desire? The old paradigm was a push marketing strategy. You push your marketing stuff on them and then sell them. It was a transaction mentality. Today, it’s all about information and relationships. How have the paradigms shifted in your industry? Are you a lifelong learner that is committed to keeping up with the latest technological changes?

There is a danger in not keeping up with market realities. “People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.” ~ Warren G. Bennis. Just like the Japanese changed the paradigm for watches and computers for the way we work, your customers are changing and so must you. "You can and should shape your own future; because if you don't someone else surely will." Joel Barker

Author's Bio: 

Patty Sadallah has 29 years experience as an organization development consultant and executive coach. She is a Dream Partner Catalyst and coaches and consults nonprofits and women owned small business owners around issues of focus and planning, moving them toward her dreams. Find out more about her coaching and consulting at http://www.PattySadallah.com/sq.

She is also the President/Founder of the Redwood Sisterhood, an international women's support community that offers personal and professional development learning opportunities, community bartering through time banking and fun networking events. Here, she brings together the talents and the needs of women and allows these connections to strengthen and uplift the membership. Learn more at (http://www.RedwoodSisterhood.com)

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