Vadim Kotelnikov    

Paradigms and Paradigm Shifts

The Two Sets of Interactive Mental Models and Their Evolution


Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo   Business e-Coach  



Two Interactive Mental Models1

  1. Paradigms external to you; shared; a universally accepted model providing the context for understanding and decision making in a particular field

  2. Knowledge Structures internal to you; individual; the way you think and what you think about. "When new information is compatible with your knowledge structures it is accepted, when it does not mesh with your pre-conceived ideas or past experience it receives little consideration, is distorted or ignored."

Same Reality, Different Perceptions


 Caterpillar's Syndrome2

An experiment conducted by John Fabre, a French naturalist

A processionary caterpillar is  a type of caterpillar that blindly follows the one in front of it. This explains the name processionary caterpillar.

The experiment consisted of several of these caterpillars, a flowerpot filled to the rim with dirt, and pine needles. The caterpillars formed a complete circle around the rim of the flowerpot, with the first one touching the back of the last one. The pine needles, the food of the processionary caterpillar, were placed in the center of the circle.

The caterpillars began their procession around the flowerpot, one following the other in a circle. This went on hour after hour, day after day, for an entire week. In the end, every one of the caterpillars dropped dead of starvation.

The one thing that could have saved them was only six inches away, but without purposeful thought or action, the caterpillars continued with a habitual routine that eventually proved too much to endure.

This is happening to people, too.

9 Signs of a Losing Organization




3 Types of Managerial Responses to a Paradigm Crisis

When Existing Organizational Structures and Management Systems are No Longer Able to Perform Effectively

  1. Improving Existing Structures: to try harder, to do more and do it faster using the same structures and practices. "But if we always do what we have always done, we will always get what we have always got and poor performance delivered more quickly at greater effort is still poor performance."1

  2. Denial and frustration

  3. Radical Change: the best way out of the problem is to create or adopt a new way of doing things. This new way will require new patterns of outside-the-box thinking and proactive innovation.

Why Change Fails: 8 Common Errors

How To Overcome Resistance to Change: Kore 10 Tips

Work Smart and Hard



Knowledge, Wisdom, Enlightenment

Insight & Comprehension

Breakthrough Thinker  >>  10 Tips    Serendipity  >>  10 Tips

Game-Changing Innovation

Proactive and Reactive Innovation  >>  Proactive Innovation

Challenge Assumption

Kore 10 Tips    Sloane's 6 TIps    'Why? What If?' Questions

Working Smarter

10 Locks that Limit Creative Thinking    6 Barriers To Innovation

Get Smart!    Conscious Assumptions

Flexibility    Strategic Flexibility    Smart & Fast Decision Maker

Master of Business Synergies (MBS)

Synergy    Synergize Diversities




1. "Thinking Outside the Comfort Zone", Jerry Sentell

2. Motivation123, Jason Gracia


A paradigm is a system of thought based on a central fundamental premise.

Gaining Knowledge

Amazing Thinker 360  Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book

Paradigms underlie our understandings of the physical sciences as well as the foundations on which virtually every other significant factor of everyday life is based.

The Wheel of Life: Eastern vs. Western View

Paradigms are central to human culture. They are learned, taught, passed on and often serve to define membership in a culture or subculture.



"The passing of paradigms within a society is, in effect the process of acculturation and socialization. Paradigms influence how we govern ourselves, how our public institutions are configured and operate, our economic systems and institutions, the structures of our organizations, and how we manage people and other resources. Even though an individual can accept and internalize a paradigm, the paradigm itself remains an external model."1

Paradigm Crisis and Paradigm Shift

"The future ain't what it used to be." ~ Yogi Berra 

Paradigms describe a basis for anticipation of specific events; they do not deal with values per se. When an existing paradigm no longer adequately explains or predicts relevant phenomenon and no replacement has been a paradigm crisis takes hold.

4 WHYs of True Success



To adopt a new paradigm you need to open your mind and start thinking differently, outside the box. "The only way a paradigm crisis can be resolved is by replacing an old, no longer adequate paradigm with a new and different one that explains and predicts better than the original, a paradigm shift. Paradigm shifts do not involve simply slight modifications to the existing model. They instead replace and render the old model obsolete. says Jerry Sentell."1

Creating a Paradigm Shift

Empower yourself to change the world!  >>>

Thought Leader  Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book


6 Mindsets of a Great Achiever

"Throughout history significant paradigm shifts are almost always led by those at the fringes of a paradigm, not those with a vested interest (intellectual, financial or otherwise) in maintaining the current paradigm, regardless of its obvious shortcomings"1  

>>  Example