1 Way to Breakthrough Thinking

Imagine a moment when accomplishment bursts through the final layer of resistance. You stand exhausted, but exhilarated as you breakthrough years of a prior situation and previous understanding. To breakthrough is converted from a verb into a noun to announce your victory. To achieve success you practiced a method of thinking which some would call breakthrough thinking. This level of thinking forced you to adopt principles that caused you to adapt to the innovative needs of the world.

Imagine cruising along in your current reality knowing that life is good or at least predictable.  You have become complacent. Life appears to be working well for you. The challenges are manageable and under control. You reside in a comfort zone because difficulties and hardships do not exceed your ability to handle them. But, you are not worried about the future for it promises more of the same. Inertia, that natural resistance to change is keeping the necessary objects of your world in orbit. The results are predictable, as you act consistently to match your values and beliefs. It is fortunate to be insulated, protected and feeling no pain.

The world of Normal, “the way it is”, “business as usual,” and the status quo will remain stationary until something bad happens to negatively rock your world. Sir Isaac Newton said that an object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. When the outside force strikes it may throw you headlong into a crisis.

Suddenly, you encounter SBH (Something Bad Happens). You fall into or are struck by a crisis. This change in your circumstances threatens your way of living. Chaos and uncertainty are injected into your habitat. Your very survival, existence and quality of life are under attack. The panic button has been activated and you fear you may never experience the world as you knew it. While struggling to put the pieces together again, you remember the warnings received and ignored. The people who could stand on the parade route and look you in the eyes could shake their heads and say, “We told you so,” and “We tried to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen.”

When you find yourself in a crisis, you want to quickly get out of it. There is a transition phase at the latter end of the crisis. When in the tailspin, you bump repeatedly against a barrier which is the curtain to the next level of thinking. If the barrier is a wall you are trapped in your present predicament and level of thinking. However, if the barrier is a membrane, you can move to the other side in your thinking. Now you are ready to listen and obey. You beg someone to give you advice you will follow. You open yourself to Radical Thinking that was once considered taboo, irrelevant and unnecessary. Feedback is solicited that was previously resisted. You practice inclusion and involve everyone in the decision-making process. 

You are now willing to; 

  • Evaluate options that were never placed on the table or you would not allow their placement
  • Take Revolutionary Actions, which were out of character for you
  • Cast the net widely for suggestions, new ideas, and best practices
  • Encourage and implement these ideas and suggestions 

Individuals and organizations tend to restrict absorbing information from alternative data sources because they were inhibited by their files or biases and perspectives. Files in a computer are the areas where we place information. The information is neither good nor bad; it is just the data, experiences, conclusions, prejudices and thoughts in your minds. These files can be barriers to accepting new approaches. They may prevent us from reaching out and trusting people and creating appropriate relationships. We have to analyze these files and the problems they cause. A crisis causes us to rethink our suppositions and practices. We do not want them to be an impediment to growth and development.  Albert Einstein spoke of changing our level of thinking to match our current dilemma. He said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking as when we created them.”

You are essentially in an incubation chamber, reforming and recalibrating your way of thinking. In this inquisitive, innovative state of development you face the challenges of the Crisis with the freedom and power of possibility.

When you are receptive to new ideas and see approaches, problems and situations with fresh eyes, you will discover wonderfully new possibilities.  Acting on these new possibilities consistently will cause you to reach a new description of Normal. This new Normal over time will become your current Normal and the cycle could reproduce itself unless there is an intervention and a change in your way of thinking.

When you are stuck in Normal, complacency, in business as usual, it took a crisis to dislodge you and place you in a free-falling state. Some people have evolved beyond a crisis initiated creative process. They frequently move from their current Normal into the Incubation phase and then into a new Normal. This is done by establishing a climate of spontaneous evolution, always being calibrated to produce radical thinking, while being receptive to taking revolutionary actions to realize possibilities. Practitioners of Breakthrough Thinking strive to create a culture of acceptance and inclusion. They welcome new ideas and encourage all employees to give their candid opinions. This cultivated environment has an expectation of inclusion, participation and innovation and the results support the validity of this approach. 

It is best to enter the Crisis through a dream or simulations because then you can wake up or say; I will listen; I will do the right thing and prevent the bad thing from happening. I will engage in radical thinking and revolutionary actions consistently to prevent entering a crisis. By thinking strategically and anticipating potential futures, you are ready for the sudden adventures and possibilities that life has in store for you. 

The dynamism of this Breakthrough Thinking Model will keep you constantly evolving and reinventing yourself and your business. Some of the principles were shared with me in workshops by Gap International of Philadelphia. The Landmark Forum teaches some of the same concepts. The result of exposure to the Breakthrough Thinking Model will be an innovative mindset and culture, with the agility and responsiveness to survive in a very competitive world and marketplace.   

Copyright © 2011 Orlando Ceaser

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