Time For A New Worldview

Very little has so profoundly impacted the way we see the world as that of the Clockwork Universe: the idea that everything works as a machine; a precise, well ordered, predictable machine.

This is a worldview of verification by fragmentation - break it up to learn about the whole. Western organisations have given themselves and their systems over to it completely: hierarchical structures, narrow incentivisation, an obsession with measurement.

Inspired by men like Newton and Descartes, this materialistic, cause and effect approach has become so ingrained it's now difficult to step outside of it and look inwards.

But it's not always been this way. And in many non-western, non-secular cultures it still isn't.

But what if the way the western corporate and its inhabitants sees the world is flawed, or flat wrong?

What consequences would that have for problem solving, system building and decision making?

Because our personal experience tells us that the status quo approach is at best deficient and at worst self-destructive: backfiring incentives, the failure rate of change programmes, poor employee engagement etc.

We need to re-examine how we think, to re-consider our world view. And we need to encourage our board rooms to do the same. An artist does. And now a scientist, via quantum physics, is doing so too. Because some quantum interpretations have the potential to turn how we see the world upside down: things taking two different paths or being two different things at once; or the inability to observe without affecting the result for example...!

These discoveries have forced quantum scientists to realise that to learn more they must stand back and take in the whole as an interdependent system. This is not a process of fragmentation for verification. It's something else: something more networked, more interdependent, more relational.

Just like our global, economic system.

Just like our employees with demands at work and demands at home.

So, what to do?

To quote Einstein: “No problem can be solved by the consciousness that created it.”

So, if we want our systems to work in this new era then we need to move beyond our Newtonian sensibilities and charter a new course. One that is more human and less machine; more action and less analysis; more instinct and less measurement; more "art" and less "science".

This may not be an easy journey, but surely we'd all agree that any course that encourages relationship and reflects our interdependence is a course worth charting.