Be a Heretic

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by: John Winsor

Ever sense Martin Luther nailed The 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in 1517 and ushered in the Reformation the term “heretic” has had religious connotations, being someone who’s opinion was a deliberate departure from accepted church doctrine. The business world needs more heretics, especially today. The marketplace demands more people who seeing outside the standard paradigm in an industry and have the courage to change it. The paradigm represents the way to get things done. It’s easy to go with the flow and follow the crowd.

But look around. Innovation always happens at the edges, where someone uses strategic intuition and breaks the mold to think the opposite. Dick Fosbury shocked the track and field world in the 1968 by doing the opposite and high jumping upside down. Instead of following the current paradigm and jumping stomach-first over the bar, he jumped back first. Fosbury broke the world record by almost 30%. Such gains don’t come from following the crowd.

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