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On Being Wrong

February 1, 2017 — Leave a comment

The key concept in this talk needs repeating:

And this is what I’m trying to explain has happened to us in the 21st century. Somebody or something has changed the rules about how our world works. When I’m joking, I try and explain it happened at midnight, you see, while we were asleep, but it was midnight 15 years ago. Okay? You didn’t notice it? But basically, what they do is, they switched all the rules round, so that the way to successfully run a business, an organization, or even a country, has been deleted, flipped, and it’s a completely new — you think I’m joking, don’t you — there’s a completely new set of rules in operation. Did you notice that? I mean, you missed this one. You probably — No, you didn’t. Okay.

My simple idea is that what’s happened is, the real 21st century around us isn’t so obvious to us, so instead we spend our time responding rationally to a world which we understand and recognize, but which no longer exists.

The following video provides another perspective on the World After Midnight:

The world has radically changed and most people are still trying to make sense of it in from a perspective that no longer exists. Where you up at midnight 15 years ago? Did you notice the change? Some of us were…so why won’t you listen to us?

Patrick Gray offers this driving principle for the New Year:

Reward success, celebrate failure, and punish inaction.

From learning theory perspective error and error correction (failure) is integral to learning and yet for the most part our learning and business environments punish failure or at least penalize it enough that many people become paralyzed by the fear or anxiety that thought of failure may bring.

Perhaps the easiest way to deal with this challenge is to make everything an experiment. We all know that failure is part of experiments so if we start out with accepting the fact that something could go wrong then it is OK to fail and the potential for innovation and learning can flourish.