Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nietzsche and paradigms in modern times (English Version)

In the nineteenth century, more precisely in 1844, the world welcomed in a German province a future Richard Wagner’s music lover and defender of extreme nihilism, the phenomenal Nietzsche, who through his large works became the biggest Catholic Church’s menace and public enemy.

Very well portrayed by Irvin Yalom’s book "When Nietzsche wept", it reflects the life of a hermit, completely excluded from society, but committed in his pseudo-autistic world, where he basted one of his greatest works, "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", a milestone at the time.
Summarizing this depiction, the story is about an insane person, wandering from shire to shire professing that God is dead. Nietzsche uses just one Bible passage, which deals with the Calvary and Jesus’ death on the cross, suggesting that the people’s (catholic) ideology died.
He saw the Catholicism as a meaningless ideology, which “helped” to believe in something beyond when population felt abandoned earthly.
Thus the Super Man appears, a mortal like any other, who will guide all disoriented and fearful humankind, because they do not have a deity to seize on now. Therefore a new leader arises.

You must be wondering why I talked about Nietzsche and what he has to do with paradigms. It is to demonstrate that in modern and globalized society, people live very comfortable with their beliefs (paradigms), thus are reticent and sluggish to accommodate themselves to new trends and realities that demand a particular change of habits.

Three decades ago, Joel A. Baker published “Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future”, which demonstrate how in the competitive business environment, people are governed by simple paradigms, avoiding cumbersome problems to safe them at the bottom of the drawer. It is a faithful portrait of the average Argentinean company, represented by Felipe in Mafalda’s comic strip (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafalda), who postpones until tomorrow all he can do today.
At international ground a risky example where you have to be open-minded and receptive to a new paradigm happened in Switzerland, the place par excellence for cuckoo clocks.
Some inventors presented an innovative quartz system of shafts and gears to replace the traditional functionality structure in the sophisticated watches.
At that time the Swiss had almost 70% of the watch’s global market share. They opposed to use the new paradigm citing they would not violate their traditions.

Japan took the paradigm with wide open arms and therefore were catapulted to the top of the massive watch’s market. Today Switzerland has only a few hundredths of it, without considering the selective products like Rolex or TAG Heuer, which conserved the traditional mechanism.

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